The Nigerian Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has announced that it received a batch of 326 stranded Nigerians from Libya who returned to the country early Friday.
The Coordinator of NEMA, Lagos territorial office, Alhaji Idris Muhammed, received the voluntary returnees on arrival in two different flights at the Cargo Wing of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos.
The first flight arrived Nigeria with 143 returnees aboard Al Buraq Air Boeing 737-800 with flight number UZ189 and registration number 5A-DMG, while the second batch of 183 passengers were airlifted by Nouvel Air flight UZ 175 with registration number, TS-INA.
The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) organised the repatriation of Nigerians, supported by Assisted Voluntary Returnees (AVR) initiative with funding from European Union (EU) for reintegration of the returnees back into their community.
At the end of profiling, the breakdown of whole returnees showed that 291 adults were brought back with eight children and 27 infants.
The NEMA Coordinator while addressing the returnees assured the youths of a better and prosperous life in the Nigeria.
He told them that the “country of our dream is unfolding, as you are struggling to travel out of Nigeria, just as many foreign nationals are also struggling to come into Nigeria as well.”
He told them that the movement of people was naturally divine “and no one will say you should not travel but travelling across the desert does not worth it.
“The Federal Government is desirous creating the environment to make every Nigerian contribute his quota in developing the country to the level we want it to be. Let us all stay back and support the government in its efforts at refocusing the country. We all have trust and confidence in this government that it will lead us to the promised land with the present leadership, but the youths are the engine room in building a virile and developed nation.
“Travelling out for greener pastures outside will not enable our needed collective efforts that are very vital at this stage of the country’s progressive history,” the Coordinator said.
Muhammed also admonished the returnees to be ready for the reintegration process that would follow the arrival stage that had just been completed.
Meanwhile, the Zonal Commander of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Mr. Daniel Atokolo has assured Nigerians that volunteering information that could lead to identification and arrest of traffickers would be treated with utmost secrecy, saying that the source of the information would be protected and added that such information was critical in the course of the fight against human trafficking.
He said trafficking is evil but we must root it out of the country, but noted that the agency could not do it alone without the cooperation of patriotic Nigerians.