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After 47 from Mali, 97 from S/Africa, 180 deportees expected from Libya on Tuesday

Barring any last minute change of mind in Tripoli, in less than two weeks tomorrow, about 324 Nigerians would have been deported back to Nigeria for various offences.

Penultimate Sunday, 47 were taken home via a chartered flight jointly arranged by NAPTIP and Malian government while last week Monday 97 were driven home from South Africa at the heat of xenophobic unrest even though the deportation was not linked to the hate attacks.

Weekend, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, disclosed that another set of 180 Nigerians are expected in Nigeria from Libya on Tuesday.

Dabiri-Erewa disclosed this when she received the Federal Commissioner, National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons Commission, Alhaja Sadiya Farouk, in Abuja on Friday.

Business Hilights can recall that about 161 Nigerians returned from Libya on February 14 and another set of 171 returned two days later.

Erewa said the Federal Government was expecting more migrants back in the country and attributed the development to the current happenings around the world.

She said her office would therefore be working with the commission to sensitise Nigerians on the need to avoid irregular migration.

In her remarks, the presidential aide said “Your visit is timely because we expect more migrants back home.

“In fact, 180 Nigerians are expected back from Libya on Tuesday.

“With what is going on around the world, it is going to be worse. We will work with your commission to continue to sensitise Nigerians on the need for them to know that some places are not just worth it.”

Responding, Farouk commended Dabiri-Erewa for her efforts toward ensuring that Nigerians in Diaspora were treated with dignity.

She condemned the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa and pledged her commission’s commitment to a sustained advocacy to end such unwarranted attacks.

The federal commissioner promised to work with Dabiri-Erewa to educate Nigerians on the dangers of irregular migration.

She said: “These programmes will better inform Nigerians on their options, so they can make informed decision and develop realistic expectations when traveling outside the country.

“It is important to note that the issue of sensitisation is an offshoot of the National Migration Dialogue.

“The dialogue highlighted the need to establish a migration desk in all states and local governments which will provide sensitisation from the grassroots level in order to curb the root causes of irregular migration.”

According to Farouk, the commission has also developed return, re-admission and reintegration programme which provides referrals to settlement services for returnees.

Farouk said the commission had also developed a Standard Operating Procedure, for the conduct of returnees, readmission and reintegration of Nigerians as part of efforts to further cater for returnees.

She said: “What is obtainable is an adhoc approach which is not sustainable.

“The SOP when operationalised, will ensure that the returning Nigerian migrants are adequately reintegrated into the society.

“The SOP has been validated by the relevant stakeholders but yet to be institutionalised. We therefore seek your partnership to ensure the operationalization.”

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