Nigerian Returnees From Saudi Arabia Allege Abandonment By FG

Some of the Nigerian returnees from Saudi Arabia. Credit: NIDCOM


The latest batch of Nigerian returnees from Saudi Arabia has alleged that the country’s consulate in Saudi Arabia is returning more citizens of the neighboring Niger Republic than Nigerians who are stuck in deportation camps in the Arabian country.

The affected Nigerians who served mostly as house helps in Saudi Arabia also accused their former bosses of sexually molesting and maltreating them while in their service.

“They are not Nigerians, they are Nigeriens. Nigerians are there and they are suffering, I was there for two months plus in the deportation camp,” a visibly angry Nigerian told journalists in Abuja.

Another returnee, who spoke in the Hausa language, lamented the dehumanising treatment they were subjected to in Saudi Arabia.

She said, “My suffering started from my arrival in Saudi Arabia. I was sad because my education couldn’t help me in my country. I was in my master’s house doing my chores.”

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But reacting, the Nigerian government through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs called for calm while addressing the allegations.

The Consular-General in the Ministry, Ambassador Akinremi Bolaji, said the Federal Government would launch a probe into the incident.

“I am telling you, that with the permission of the Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs, what you have said here will not go uninvestigated,” he said.

“Now I will meet with those who have said this  and tell us specific mention, and if you have names, let us know.”

Since January 2021, the Federal Government has evacuated over 3,000 people from Saudi Arabia, with last week witnessing the return of over 1,000 people.

Although some of the returnees have tested positive for COVID-19, they have been receiving adequate treatment because they are asymptomatic.

Accusations of abuse and maltreatment of Nigerians in foreign countries have been rife in recent years.

A viral video from India recently alleged that a Nigerian was killed in India, prompting protests and calls for intervention from the Nigerian government.

Illegal Migration: 15,731 Nigerians Returned From 16 Countries In Two Years – NEMA

Photo: NEMA


The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has revealed that a total of 15,731 returnees have been brought back to Nigeria from 16 countries since April 2017 to date.

According to the Acting Coordinator of NEMA Lagos Territorial Office, Ibrahim Farinloye, Nigerian nationals returned from Libya remains the highest number with 8,096 males and 5,788 females.

Mr. Farinloye, while receiving a fresh batch of 168 distressed and stranded Nigerians from Libya on Friday morning at the Murtala Muhammed Airport Cargo Wing, stated that a special intervention by the IOM with the support of EU has successfully returned the illegal migrants during the two years review.

Other countries in the list include; Niger Republic – 1,043 males and 556 females; Morocco – 42 males, 37 females; Liberia 8 males and 4 females; Burkina Faso 6 males and 18 females.

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He added that countries like France had 3 males and 1 female, while Ireland had only 1 female. But countries like Poland, Austria, Gambia, Mauritania, and Ethiopia had 1 male each.

Chad had only 1 male and 2 female, while Cote d’Ivoire had only 2 females brought back within the periods.

Adult males formed an estimated 54 percent, the adult female stands at 37 percent, while male and female minors were at 4 percent each.

He further gave a breakdown of states of origin for distressed migrants returned in the year in review.

Edo topped the list with 40.6 percent, while Delta came second with 13.3 percent and Ogun made the third on the list with 6.2 percent.

Other states include; Imo 4.7 percent; Lagos 4.3 percent; Oyo 4.1 percent; Yobe 3.6 percent; Kano 3.1 percent and Osun with 2.9 percent.

On the state of the health conditions, Mr. Farinloye revealed that 31 males and 21 females suffered various degree tortures while in detention in Libya.

He added that the number of unaccompanied minors assisted back into the country stood at 66 males and 67 females.

Those who were kidnapped out of Nigeria, but assisted back had 79 males and 31 females. Single parents had 41 males and 616 females.

Stating further, Mr. Farinloye revealed that the total number of pregnant women brought back in the year in review stood at 439 while 592 males and 804 females were returned with various medical issues.

He wrapped up the breakdown with the number of migrants assisted back into the country with psychosocial needs, revealing that the number of males remained 523, while females have reached 470.

The fresh voluntary returnees had 38 adult females, 5 female children, 109 adult males, 6 male children, and 10 infants.

31 Victims Trafficked From Zamfara, Katsina Return Home

Some of the returnees…


No fewer than 31 persons trafficked mostly from Katsina and Zamfara states, through Benin Republic, and taken to Burkina Faso, have safely been returned home.

Out of the 31 victims, the return of seven was facilitated by the Nigerian embassy in Burkina Faso while the Katsina State Government assisted the return of the remaining 24.

While receiving the returnees at his residence, Governor Aminu Masari told journalists that the state government had cut down bureaucratic processes to the lowest level to facilitate their safe return at little cost.

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“According to him (one of the victims), six of them that had money on them decided to come back on their own. So whether they are back or not, we don’t know because we don’t know their names.

“We will find out from them if they know their names and their identities. We will find out whether they are back or they are not back,” he said.

The governor promised to continue to liaise with foreign missions and ensure the return of all trafficked Nigerians.

NEMA Repatriates 136 Stranded Nigerians From Libya 


The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has received a fresh batch of 136 stranded Nigerians from Libya.

The returnees arrived at the cargo wing of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja last night and were received by NEMA officials alongside officials of other national agencies.

The returnees who were brought back by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) consist of 59 adult females, 4 female children, and 5 female infants.

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63 of them are adult males, 2 male children and 3 infant males.

The European Union has pledged to support the IOM and other aid agencies with funds to complete the reintegration of the returnees to the larger society.

NEMA Receives 132 Stranded Nigerians From Libya


The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) says it has received 132 stranded Nigerian returnees from Libya.

NEMA’s Lagos office coordinator, Idris Muhammed, confirmed the development to journalists on Tuesday in Lagos.

According to him, the returnees who arrived the Cargo Wing of Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja at about 7:20 pm boarded the Buraq Air which took off from Benghazi Airport in Libya.

They included 58 adult female, 2 female children, and 4 female infants while 59 male adults, 5 male children, and 6 male infants made up of 64 females and 68 males.

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The stranded Nigerians were assisted back to the country through the humanitarian efforts of the International Organisation for Migration and special funding from the European Union for the reintegration process.

While receiving the returnees from Ketil Karlsen, the EU Ambassador in Nigeria, Mohammed assured the EU and IOM of the Federal Government’s readiness to partner and cooperate with all development partners in creating a conducive environment where every Nigerians will be able to fend for themselves to reduce the urge in embarking in irregular migrations.

The NEMA boss also reiterated the govt’s commitment to giving all necessary supports needed by the International partners.

On his part, Ambassador Karlsen advised Nigerians against desperation, stressing that their quest for better opportunities should be borne from aspiration.

He, however, regretted the spate of irregular migrations, warning that it could put people’s lives at risk.

He praised all the national and international partners who have been participating in the success story of the exercise.

326 Stranded Nigerians Return From Libya

File photo


The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), has received a fresh batch of returnees from Libya.

The NEMA Coordinator in Lagos, Idris Muhammed, told journalists that the returnees numbering 326 arrived the cargo wing of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport on Thursday evening in two batches.

According to him, the first flight arrived the country with 143 returnees aboard Al Buraq Air Boeing 737-800 at about 10:20pm on Thursday.

The NEMA boss stated that the second flight arrived with Nouvelair Air flight UZ 175 landed with 183 returnees aboard.

The repatriated Nigerians were brought back by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) through its Assisted Voluntary Returnees (AVR) initiative funded by the European Union for the reintegration of returnees back into their community.

Giving a breakdown of figures, Muhammad explained that the returnees comprise 291 adults, 8 children and 27 infants.

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Speaking further, he appealed to the youths to make good use of their stay and plan for a better life in the country.

He said, “The country of our dream is unfolding, as you are struggling to travel outside country, many foreign nationals are also struggling to come into Nigeria as well.

“Movement of people are naturally divine and no one will is saying you should not travel but travelling across the desert does not worth it.

“The Federal Government is desirous to make every Nigerian to make his qouta in developing the country to the level we want it to be”.

Suspected Traffickers Arrested As 164 Nigerians Return From Libya

Suspected Traffickers Arrested As 164 Nigerians Return From Libya
A file photo of Nigerians returning from Libya.


A fresh batch of 164 Nigerians stranded in Libya have returned to the country, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has said.

The returnees arrived at the Cargo Wing of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Lagos at about 12:15 on Friday.

They were received by Mr Ibrahim Farinloye, on behalf of the coordinator, Lagos Territorial Office of the agency, Idris Muhammed.

Shortly after their arrival, officials of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) apprehended two suspected human traffickers.

The suspects were arrested after they were identified by their victims during an event organised to receive the returnees.

Addressing the returnees, Farinloye urged them to seize the opportunity they have to start a positive and fruitful life in the country.

According to him, there is nothing wrong in seeking greener overseas but the methods applied are mostly inappropriate and entail avoidable risks.

“One will not appreciate the abundant resources God has endowed us with until you travel out. All of you have gone and fortunately come back alive and you are in the best position to tell the story to those still aspiring to embark on such a journey,” the NEMA official told the returnees.

He added, “We understand that many of you were deceived with very juicy opportunities overseas and these are mostly your close relatives; you need to assist the government to stem the menace of trafficking by giving information to government agencies who are going to protect your identity and safety.”

Farinloye also asked the returnees to be champions of positive thinking among the youths that they don’t have to go overseas before living a meaningful life.

After profiling, it was revealed that the returnees comprised 71 female adults, 17 female children, and six female infants, as well as 55 male adults, 13 male children, and two male infants.

Amongst them were three returnees with medical cases and a pregnant woman who started having a labour of childbirth upon her arrival in Nigeria.

The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) facilitated their return with special funding by the European Union, in a programme that would end in April 2020.

NEMA Receives 160 Returnees From Libya

155 Nigerians Return From Libya
File Photo of Nigerian returnees from Libya.


The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), has received a fresh batch of returnees from Libya.

The 160 returnees consisting of 74 females and 86 males (both adults and children), were received by the Coordinator, Lagos Territorial Office of NEMA, Idris Muhammed, at the Cargo Wing of MMIA, Ikeja Lagos on Thursday.

They were brought back by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) as part of EU’s special intervention on Assisted Voluntary Returnees (AVR) Programme.

While receiving them, the Coordinator implored other Nigerians still aspiring to travel out of the country to desist from irregular migration.

According to him, they expose themselves to inhumane conditions which could otherwise be avoided.

A returnee, Mrs Adebisi Komolafe, an indigene of Osun State narrating her ordeal said if she had an idea of how bad the experience would be, she wouldn’t have taken the chance.

She, however, called on Nigerians to keep praying for the leaders, saying that if God guides the leaders right, things may not be so bad in the country.

“Nigerians need to keep praying fervently for our leaders.

“Despite the bad situations in Libya, the people believe in their leaders and are praying fervently for them. They still see hope in their country”.

“If Nigerians can avoid blaming Government for everything, with faith and sincerity our prayers will be accepted by God.

“God will guide our leaders right if we direct our supplications to Almighty God to guide our leaders right.”

“I don’t wish any Nigerian should think of travelling to Libya, I never knew the situation in Libya before I left, if I had known, I wouldn’t have travelled there,” Komolafe said, adding “Nigeria is far better than that country”.

According to her, since she travelled in 2016, she worked as a maid but despite making some money, she could not send anything back home to her family in Nigeria.

“The only thing I did was to buy goods that I can sell when I get back to Nigeria and I brought everything back now,” she said.

Another returnee, Aisha Ibrahim from Oyo State, also said she regretted her ordeal.

According to her, her sister introduced her to the idea of travelling while convincing her that there were several opportunities in Libya to earn money.

She said, “My sister paid for my transportation and after a week on arrival in Libya, I got a housemaid work.

“You must work and carry out any instructions given by those people. You must do whatever directives given. Failure to comply obey them will attract still punishment or arrest.

“At times, I will not come back to my sister’s house for 3 or six months.

“In Libya, you don’t have freedom, once they hear you are a Nigerian, trouble starts. They don’t like us, you cannot change work.

“If you have travelling documents and you are caught, those documents will not be returned to you and you will be arrested.

“They can raid your house and cart away all your savings and property”.

According to her, she worked for six months without break and when she wanted to visit her sister, she was arrested and all her money was taken from her.

She explained that she wasn’t released until about N400,000 was paid by her sister.

Thereafter, she started making efforts to return home.

“Libya is far better than Nigeria” Ibrahim said, advising anyone making plans to travel illegally to desist from such.

193 More Stranded Nigerians Return From Libya


193 more Nigerians stranded in Libya have returned to the country.

The returnees arrived aboard a chartered Tunisia airline which touched down at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos around 8:32 pm on Thursday.

This was disclosed in a statement issued by the acting Zonal Coordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mr Segun Afolayan.

According to him, their return was made possible through the efforts of the agency in collaboration with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).

The returnees consist of 96 female and 97 male including infants and children.

While welcoming them, the new South West Commander of National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons (NAPTIP), Mr Atokolo Daniel, asked the returnees to join the fight against human trafficking.

He also asked them to disclose the identities of all those involved in the trafficking and smuggling of Nigerians.

NEMA Receives Fresh 141 Nigerian Returnees From Libya

155 Nigerians Return From Libya
Nigerians arriving Port Harcourt International Airport on Tuesday, February 13, 2018. (file)


The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) says it has received a fresh batch of 141 stranded Nigerians from Libya.

In a statement on Wednesday by the south-west zonal spokesman for the agency, Mr Farinloye Ibrahim, the returnees were assisted back to the country by International Organisation for Migration (IOM) in partnership with the European Union.

NEMA’s Chief Planning Officer, Mr Segun Afolayan, welcomed the citizens back into the country, urging them not to allow the unfortunate experiences to negatively impact their lives.

Receiving the Nigerians who were mostly from City Centre of Tripoli, the capital of Libya, Mr Seguin Afolayan, Chief Planning Officer, on behalf of the Director-General and other Federal Agencies welcomed the Voluntary Returnees back in the country.

Afolayan urged the Returnees to turn a leave in forging ahead in their future endeavours and not allow the unfortunate experiences to negatively affect them.

He said: “Truly, you had bad experiences differently, collectively and individually, but these should be the motivation for you to make a positive decision to see the brighter future ahead of you.

“This is because no one can tell the story more than you and making the better use of your lives are essential.

“Please the Federal Government is urging you to be ambassadors of positive change by taking the anti-irregular migration to those still aspiring to take a dangerous journey.”

According to NEMA, the returnees comprise 71 female (adults), 3 females children and 3 babies (female)53 male (adults), 6 male children and 5 male infants.

Amongst them were 2 medical cases, 9 families and 11 pregnant women.

Agencies that joined NEMA in the emergency operation included the Nigerian Immigration Service, the National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons (NAPTIP), the Refugee Commission, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) among others.

NEMA Receives 161 More Libya Returnees

155 Nigerians Return From Libya
FILE PHOTO of Libya Returnees


The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) on Friday received a total of 161 Nigerians stranded in Libya, who voluntarily returned to Nigeria.

A total of 10,000 returnees have so far been evacuated from the North African country since April 2017.

Among the new set of returnees on Friday, nine of them have serious medical cases. There were 12 pregnant women among them with a seven-year-old minor also on the flight.

Among the 161 returnees, 147 of them are adults, four are children and 10 infants.

NEMA had received a batch of 149 returnees on Tuesday making a total of 310 of them this week alone.

Ondo Govt Receives 23 Libya Returnees

Twenty-three indigenes of Ondo state among the latest batch of Libya returnees have arrived Akure, the state capital.

The returnees comprising 10 male, 12, female and a baby girl, were transported  from Port Harcourt to Akure by officials of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA).

State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs Omowunmi Olatunji-Edet received the returnees on behalf of the state government.

The commissioner noted that the state government had made provision for their temporary accommodation and feeding.

According to her, the government had begun moves to relocate their families and ensure their full integration.

Olatunji-Edet added that the returnees confessed to having gone through hell in Libya.

She thereafter advised young Nigerians to strive to make the best out of whatever situation they might find themselves in Nigeria.