Over 3,000 stranded Nigerians repatriated in five months – Report - PUNCH
The Federal Government and the International Organisation for Migration evacuated no fewer than 3,363 stranded Nigerians between January and May 2023.
This is according to figures obtained from the IOM and the National Emergency Management.
Checks by our correspondent on Monday showed that 2,518 stranded Nigerians were evacuated from Sudan; 538 from Libya; 294 from the Niger Republic and 13 from Saudi Arabia in the last five months.
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 April 18 via the Twitter handle of IOM, the organisation evacuated 107 Nigerians stranded in Libya.
On April 11, FG in collaboration with the IOM, evacuated 152 Nigerians, who were stranded in Libya, to Nigeria.
On April 4, the FG and the IOM evacuated 144 stranded Nigerians from Niger Republic.
On March 28, the FG, 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.
A retired Nigerian ambassador to Mexico, Ogbole Amedu-Ode, who recently spoke with The PUNCH, blamed unemployment and an inconducive political environment for high irregular migration.
Amedu-Ode said, “The unemployment rate for Nigeria stands at 33 per cent (2022 figure). Added to that, is an inconducive political atmosphere.
“This mix is responsible for Nigerians voting with their feet. Those who can afford it do so through legal or legitimate migration channels and those who cannot take the perilous trans-Sahara and trans-Mediterranean route.”