About 144 Nigerians including pregnant women arrived in the country from Libya on Thursday with the assistance of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the European Union (EU).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the returnees arrived at the Cargo Wing of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos at 10.30 pm.
They returned aboard a chartered Airbus 320 with registration number LZ-MDI operated by VIA Airways.
The returnees comprised 54 adult females — four of whom were pregnant — and seven female children as well as 79 adult males and four male children.
The South West Zonal Coordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Alhaji Suleiman Yakubu, received the returnees on behalf of Federal Government.
Also on hand to receive them were 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 Police.
The returnees were each given £100 to settle down in Nigeria. It was also reporte dthat some state governments provided means of transportation for these returnees to get back to their respective state.
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 phone handsets and SIM cards to facilitate their reintegration.
In 2017, 6,806 Nigerians were brought back from Libya with the efforts of the IOM and EU.
The Nigerians had been stranded in the volatile North African country en-route Europe, with many being subjected to abuse.
In the latter part of 2017, it was widely reported across the world on the re-emergence of slave trade in the Islamic country. Photos of black Africans being traded for cash and ammunition surfaced on the internet and this enraged people from different parts of the world.
Libya was immediately called to order and countries began to withdraw their citizens that were trapped in Libya