The Senior Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Foreign Affairs and the Diaspora, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa says the Nigerian government is executing mass evacuation abroad, particularly in Libya where many Nigerians still languish in deplorable conditions.
This is to check the worrisome consequence of illegal migration which is the subsequent mistreatment and abuse of Nigerians in various countries abroad once identified as undocumented.
Hardship and struggle is the experience of many in the cavity of Nigeria’s economic recession, but for some, it started a journey of unraveling.
Desperate for survival, many head for unknown destinations through unknown routes only to find conditions worse at the destination than conditions burdening at the origin, if the destination is ever seen at all.
The presidential adviser acknowledged this challenge but urged Nigerians to weather the storm at home where they are welcome.
She said that the current cash crunch does not shake the commitment of the federal government to prioritize the welfare of its people both home and abroad.
Officials from the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) say 669 Nigerians were evacuated from Libya on chartered aircraft in 2016 alone by the federal government in rescue missions.
The Head Of Search and Rescue at NEMA, Bandele Onimode, made this disclosure, adding also that more operations are expected in the coming weeks.
The increasing rate of illegal outflows of migrants from Nigeria into various countries in northern Africa and Europe has become an issue of concern to all countries involved as the global community aims to check illegal migration around the world.
The Nigerian Navy says new strategies have been put in place to combat the challenges of local and international crude oil theft, drug trafficking, gun running, illegal migration and terrorism.
Addressing a news conference in Abuja on Friday, ahead of the 2015 Nigerian Navy Retreat, the Chief of Policy and Plans, Nigerian Navy, Rear Admiral Johnson Olutoyin, said the Nigerian maritime environment and the entire Gulf of Guinea region were witnessing complex security challenges.
He reaffirmed the Navy’s resolve to tackle the contemporary and emerging security challenges bedeviling the nation.
On Friday, the Navy arrested 11 crew members of a vessel, MT Camille, laden with about 4,000 metric tonnes of suspected stolen crude oil at Forcados in Delta State.
The Eastern Naval Command of the Nigerian Navy has also reiterated its commitment to increasing security on Nigeria’s water, to put an end to crime in the nation’s territorial boundaries.
To deepen efforts to end maritime challenges, the Navy has also entered into a partnership with the Nigerian Customs Service in the area of maritime security and exchange of information that will help in improving Nigeria’s economy.
The President of the Initiative for Youth Awareness on Migration, Solomon Okoduwa, on Monday announced the theme for this year’s National Youths Day.
Tagged ‘Youths and Migration’, he said it was inspired by the desperation of Nigerian youths to be successful and to erase the belief that it is only possible for them to succeed outside the country.
He also lamented that they travel illegally through the Sahara desert to Libya in hope of migrating to Europe.
“This year’s theme gives us as a country, the opportunity to reflect on the type of society we live in, a society where so many people see migration as a means to survival, meanwhile the basic things we need access to education and food, we lack them and it has resulted in high crime rate”. He said this on Channels Television’s morning breakfast programme, Sunrise daily.
He told a story of how he was psyched into believing that the trip was just like Berger- to Oshodi “the people who convince us collected N200,000 for the journey, we were about 300-400 youths and we were not aware of the dangers of the Sahara, meanwhile most of us couldn’t tell our family members about it”.
Mr Okoduwa said that his organisation has been trying to seek assistance from the government because there are about 122 prisoners in a place called Sabha in Libya, children inclusive.
He said the number keeps increasing because some Nigerian girls give birth in prison and this children automatically become prisoners according to Libyan laws.
He added that to get a good job in Libya you need a residence permit and to get this permit you need recommendation from a citizen which is hard to get adding that there are about 280 Nigerian females in Libyan prisons.
He pleaded with the federal government to come to the aid off Nigerian youths in diaspora by prioritising their interests and organising empowerment programmes for the hungry, unemployed and uneducated youths in our society.