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143 stranded Nigerians return from Niger Republic

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has received another batch of 143 stranded Nigerians repatriated from Niamey, Niger Republic.

NEMA Coordinator, Kano Territorial Office, Dr Nurudeen Abdullahi, gave the figures as he received the returnees at  the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport.

Dr Abdullahi said the Nigerians were repatriated to the country from Niamey, under the care of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) through a voluntary repatriation programme.

He stressed that the programme was designed for distressed Nigerians, who had left the country to seek greener pastures in various European countries, and could not afford to return when their trips were aborted midway.

“The returnees arrived aboard SKY MALI Airlines, operated by Ethiopian airline B737-400 with registration number UR-CQX at about 2:35 pm,” he told reporters.

He gave the figures of the returnees as follows: 93 male, 22 female and 28 childrencomprising indigenes of Katsina, Kano, Adamawa, Lagos, Enugu and Edo States, among others.

He hinted that the returnees would  undergo a three-day training programme on how to achieve self-sustainability, and would be provided with capital to enable them become self-reliant.

Dr Abdullahi advised the public to avoid endangering their lives in the name of travelling out in search of greener pastures in other countries, adding that no country was better than Nigeria.

Meanwhile, representatives from SEMA, NEMA, Nigeria Red Cross, and National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and IDPs and NSCDC, among others, were on ground to receive the returnees.

NEMA had on May 9 received about 148 Nigerians stranded in Niamey, capital of Niger Republic.

Reporting by Khadijah Aliyu; Editing by Daniel Adejo and Tony Okerafor