A new batch of one hundred and sixty (160) stranded Nigerian nationals arrived the Nnamdi Azikiwe International airport Abuja, from Tripoli, Libya, in the early hours of Wednesday, 17th March 2021.
A statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said the return of the stranded Nigerians was facilitated by the Federal Government in collaboration with the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
The returnees who were aboard a chartered flight comprised 98 adults and 62 children. Officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Nigerians in the Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) and Nigerian Center For Disease Control (NCDC), were on hand to receive the returnees and ensure all COVID-19 protocols were dutifully observed.
This development is coming at a time when the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes, (UNODC) disclosed that more Nigerians are likely to become victims of human trafficking as a result of the economic downturn which has been worsened by the impact of COVID-19.
According to reports by UNODC, Nigeria is the source, transit and destination country for human trafficking and the root causes of trafficking include poverty, lack of education, globalisation, corruption and gender inequality.
Amb. Bolaji Akinremi, Director Consular and Legal Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, while addressing the returnees, urged them to assist government efforts in creating awareness on the challenges associated with irregular migration by sharing their experiences.
The returnees have been camped at the FCT Hajj camp to observe the mandatory 14 days isolation as part of the COVID-19 protocol, the statement added.