ABUJA- The Federal Government (FG), in collaboration with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), on Tuesday evacuated 152 Nigerians, who are stranded and lived as illegal immigrants in Libya, to Nigeria.
The evacuated Nigerians whose return was facilitated under the FG-IOM Voluntary Repatriation Exercise, arrived at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos, on Tuesday evening.
Amb. Kabiru Musa, Charge D’affiares en titre of the Nigerian Mission in Libya, made this known in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Abuja.
The Envoy noted that this is the third exercise the FG and IOM have carried out in 2023, with a successful evacuation of nearly 500 Nigerians stranded in Libya to Nigeria already.
“Today, we have successfully evacuated another 152 Nigerians stranded in Libya to Nigeria.
“Libya is a transit country for irregular migrants to the Western and other parts of the world. Whenever these irregular migrants can no longer continue their journey to expected destinations, they become stranded here.
“Because of their status as undocumented immigrants, they become vulnerable to exploitation and degrading treatment, including forced labour and prostitution.
“The federal government is determined to protect the rights of these migrants and will continue to facilitate their safe and voluntary return home.
“This is the third exercise we have conducted this year. We evacuated almost 4,000 stranded Nigerians from Libya in 2022 and we hope to surpass that number this year,” Musa said.
Musa appreciated the Federal Government, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and IOM for facilitating the exercise.
He also thanked the Libyan authority for their support and cooperation. (NAN)