Not less than 300 stranded Nigerians in Libya have returned to Nigeria on Thursday night, while the rest arrived on Friday morning, the National Emergency Management Agency has said.
The NEMA coordinator of Lagos State, Idris Muhammed, told journalists on Friday in Lagos that the 326 returnees were received at the Cargo Wing of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos via two different flights.
According to him, the first flight arrived the country with 143 returnees aboard Al Buraq Air Boeing 737-800 aircraft, with registration number 5A-DMG which landed at 10.20pm on Thursday.
And the second flight, a Nouvelair aircraft, with registration number TS-INA, arrived with 183 returnees aboard at about 1.20 am on Friday.
NEMA said the Nigerians were brought back by the International Organisation for Migration and the European Union under the Assisted Voluntary Returnees (AVR) programme.
He said officials of the Nigeria Immigration Service, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria and the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons were on ground to welcome the Nigerian returnees.
Giving a breakdown of the figures, NEMA said that the returnees comprise 291 adults, 8 children and 27 infants.
“At the end of profiling, the breakdown of the returnees shows 148 female adults; six female children, 15 female infants, making a total of 169 females.
“The males are 143 male adults, two male children and 12 male infants, making a total of 157 males,” the NEMA coordinator said.
He enjoined the returnees to join the government in working assiduously toward making Nigeria a prosperous nation.
“The country of our dream is unfolding. As you are struggling to travel outside the country, many foreign nationals are struggling to come into Nigeria as well,” NEMA boss said.
“Movement of people is naturally divine and no one is saying you should not travel but traveling across the desert is not worth it.
“The Federal government is desirous to make every Nigerian contribute his or her quota in developing the country to the level we want it to be.
NEMA encouraged Nigerians to stay back and support the government in its efforts at refocusing the country.