Sunday, February 25, 2024

Report says more than 3,800 stranded Nigerians repatriated in six months

The Federal Government and the International Organisation for Migration evacuated no fewer than 3,850 stranded Nigerians between January and June 2023.

This is according to figures obtained from the IOM and the National Emergency Management Agency.

Checks on Friday showed that 2,644 stranded Nigerians were evacuated from Sudan; 752 from Libya; 441 from the Niger Republic and 13 from Saudi Arabia in the last six months.

It was reported on June 24 that NEMA received 126 stranded Nigerians from Sudan, while the agency welcomed 102 distressed Nigerians, mostly young women, from Tripoli, Libya on June 21.

On June 7, NEMA confirmed receiving 112 stranded Libyan returnees at the Murtala Muhammad International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos State.

It was reported on May 17, that NEMA facilitated the return of 13 Nigerian students who fled from the Sudan war to Saudi Arabia.

On May 14 via the Twitter handle of NEMA, the agency announced that it evacuated 2,518 stranded Nigerians from war-torn Sudan.

On May 11, the Federal Government received 147 stranded Nigerians from Niamey, Niger Republic.

On April 18 via the Twitter handle of IOM, the organisation evacuated 107 Nigerians stranded in Libya.

Also, on April 11, the Federal Government in collaboration with the IOM evacuated 152 Nigerians, who were stranded in Libya, to Nigeria, while on April 4, the Federal Government and the IOM evacuated 144 stranded Nigerians from Niger Republic.

On March 28, the Federal Government, in collaboration with the IOM evacuated 151 stranded Nigerians from Benghazi, Libya, as the government resumed its voluntary evacuation in Libya.

Within 24 hours, on March 29, they evacuated 128 more Nigerian migrants living illegally in Libya to Nigeria under the voluntary evacuation exercise.

On February 14 via the Twitter handle of NEMA, 150 distressed Nigerians were evacuated from Niamey, Niger Republic.

The profile of the returnees indicated that 98 were male adults, male children 11, and two male infants. While 24 were female adults, 13 were female children with two female infants.

According to the United Nations, irregular migration poses multiple challenges to countries of origin, transit and destination and migrants themselves.

Migrants in irregular situations are particularly vulnerable to discrimination, exploitation and abuse.

The Federal Government had spent not less than N4, 497,469,900 evacuating Nigerians stranded in foreign countries during crises in five years.

A former Nigerian Ambassador to Angola, Folorunsho Otukoya, had said that the undocumented movement of citizens was not peculiar to Nigeria, blaming harsh economic factors, impatience of youths and the unfettered freedom of movement of Nigerians.

Otukoya said, “Some feel that Nigerians japa because of harsh economic conditions. Others feel that youths are impatient and want to make it quickly. There is also the other narrative that Eldorado, the land of promise lies off the shore of Nigeria. Of course, for as long as Nigerians have unfettered freedom of movement, there will always be illegal migration.”

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