In a bid to alleviate the sufferings of Nigerians who had sought greener pastures in other countries and became stranded, the Federal Government on Wednesday received another set of 147 returnees from Niamey, Niger Republic.
The returnees, who arrived at the Malam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA) in Kano State, consisted of 77 male adults, 16 male children, 23 female adults and 21 female children from different states including Lagos, Kano, Katsina, Jigawa and Kaduna.
According to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the returnees were brought back through a voluntary repatriation programme under the care of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).
The programme was meant for distressed Nigerians who had left the country in search of greener pastures but could not afford to return when their journey became frustrating.
‘We went through a lot’
Speaking on the repatriation programme, the Coordinator of NEMA Kano Territorial Office, Dr Nuradeen Abdullahi, noted that the returnees would undergo a three-day training on how to achieve self-sustainability and would be provided with seed capital to enable them to engage in productive ventures and become self-reliant.
Dr Abdullahi also advised Nigerian youths to avoid endangering their lives by travelling to seek greener pastures in other countries.
He said, “It is better to invest in oneself and seek opportunities within the country. If they must travel abroad, they should do so legally and through the right channels to avoid falling prey to human traffickers and other forms of exploitation”.
Meanwhile, the returnees expressed gratitude to the Federal Government and the IOM for their safe return.
“We are grateful to the federal government and the IOM for bringing us back home,” one of the returnees, Mrs Ngozi Ogbu, said. “We went through a lot of hardships and were almost hopeless, but we thank God for this opportunity to start afresh.”