The National Emergency Management Agency(NEMA) on Monday received another batch of 144 stranded Nigerians from Niamey in Niger Republic.
Dr Nuradeen Abdullahi, NEMA Coordinator Kano Territorial Office, disclosed this while receiving the returnees at Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport in Kano.
Abdullahi, represented by NEMA Kano Head of Human Resources, Mr Suleiman Sa’ad-Abubakar, said that the returnees arrived at the airport at about 2:30 pm.
“The returnees were transported into Nigeria by SKY MALI Airlines, operated by Ethiopian airline B737-400 with registration number UR-CQX.”
He said that the returnees were brought back under the care of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) from Niamey through a voluntary repatriation programme.
“The program was for the distressed, who had left the country to seek greener pastures in various European countries and could not afford to return when their journey became frustrated,” he said.
He said that the returnees included 106 male adults, 16 female adults and 22 children (10 females and 12 males).
Abdullahi noted that the returnees were from different parts of the country – some from Kano, Kaduna, Katsina, Abia, Sokoto and Edo – among other states.
According to him, the returnees would be trained on various skills acquisition programs that will integrate them back into society and provide them with seed capital to enable them to be self-reliant.
He advised Nigerians to avoid endangering their lives by travelling to seek greener pastures in other countries, adding that no country is better than Nigeria.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the agency, between February and March, received 300 stranded Nigerians from Niamey, Niger Republic.
One of the returnees, Fatima Muhammad, a widow and mother of two while recounting her ordeal, said she travelled to Algeria to seek greener pastures with her kids.
“No one to cater for me and my children, that was why I decided to seek for greener pasture.
“I regretted embarking on the ill-fated journey, but l thank God we came back safely.
“Nigeria is far better than where we thought we could get better lives, we suffered,” Muhammad said.
NAN reports that the returnees were received by officials of National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and IDPs, Red Cross Society, Department of State Services and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps.