The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has received 149 Nigerians who voluntarily returned from Libya. Newsmen report that the returnees arrived Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, aboard a chartered flight operated by Buraq Airline with registration number 5A-DMG.
The aircraft landed at about 10:45 p.m. at the Cargo Wing of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos. The returnees comprised of 107 male adults, 37 female adults including a medical case, four female children and one female infant.
Mr Abrham Tamrat, the Programme Manager of International Organisation for Migration (IOM), Lagos, handed the returnees over to Alhaji Yakubu Suleiman, the South West Zonal Coordinator of NEMA. Suleiman thanked the IOM and the European Union (EU) for facilitating the repatriation of the Nigerians who had been stranded en route from Libya to Europe. Yakubu admonished the returnees to shun the urge of seeking greener pastures outside the country.
He said that all nations in the world were facing various challenges as a result of global economic meltdown. The coordinator said the Nigerian economy had exited recession due to the ingenuity of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration, adding that they should join hand in building the country. “Nigeria has more than enough resources to cater for our needs but it is left for every one of us to tap from any of these abundant resources,” Suleiman said.
He assured them that both the Federal and state governments had lots of incentives for their rehabilitation and reintegration to complement the efforts of EU and IOM. Also speaking, Tamat said the IOM had assisted over 7,000 Nigerians back from Libya under the voluntary return assistance programme and would continue to assist persons who indicate interest to return. Newsmen report that the returnees were also received by officials of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and the Nigeria Police. The telecommunications company, Airtel, in collaboration with the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Diaspora and Foreign Affairs, also gave the returnees free mobile cellphones and sim cards to facilitate their reintegration.