The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) on Wednesday received 178 stranded Nigerians from Libya at Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos.
The Director-General of NEMA, Alhaji Mustapha Ahmed, who was represented by the Acting Coordinator of the Lagos Territorial Office of the Agency, Mr Ibrahim Farinloye, confirmed the development to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
Farinloye said that the stranded Nigerians arrived at the Cargo Wing of the airport at about 6.20 p.m with Boeing 737-800 Al Buraq Air with registration number 5A-DMG.
He said that the returnees were brought back to the country by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) through a voluntary repatriation programme.
He said the programme was meant for distressed Nigerians, who had left the country for greener pastures in various European countries, but could not afford to return when their journey became frustrated.
Farinloye said that the returnees were 63 male adults, 73 female adults, 15 male and 13 female children, six female infants and eight male infants.
He advised the returnees to turn a new leaf, saying that ample opportunities abound in the country.
He, however, appealed to the returnees to avoid vices that they might have been exposed to from the country of departure.
“We admonished the returnees on the need to realise that there’s no country better than Nigeria.
“Here you have all the freedom to achieve your potential. Looking for greener pastures in foreign land is no longer a reality, those countries are not better off when you consider the challenges you encounter there and here.
” You are encouraged to be positive ambassadors toward advocacy and sensitisation against irregular migration that leave the youths vulnerable to all sorts of abuses and death in extreme cases.
“There are ample opportunities for all of us to thrive and live happily in virtuous and God fearing manner in Nigeria without unnecessarily exposing ourselves to undeserved dangers in foreign lands,” he said.
Farinloye said the returnees were received by NEMA, along with other sister agencies such as; Immigration Service, Refugee Commission, Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and the Police.