Nigeria begins mass evacuation of citizens stranded in Libya

A Federal Government Delegation has arrived Libya to commence mass evacuation of Nigerians stranded in the North African country home.

Sani Datti, the Head of Media and Public Relations, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) made this known in a statement on Thursday in Abuja.

Mr. Datti said the delegation was led by Geoffrey Onyema, Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, accompanied by the Director-General of NEMA, Mustapha Maihaja and other heads of relevant agencies.

Mr. Datti said the delegation arrived Tripoli on Wednesday ahead of the actual evacuation operation expected to commence on Friday to transport stranded Nigerians with two indigenous carriers engaged for the exercises.

“A total of 5, 037 stranded citizens have been identified for evacuation home.

“The Nigerian mission in Libya is coordinating the identification of the Nigerian migrants with the support of the International Organisation for Migration.

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“They are being joined by a technical team for the evacuation exercise comprising representatives of all relevant agencies.

“A reception centre has been established in Port Harcourt where the returnees on their arrival would be formally received and profiled before being transported to their various states,” Mr. Datti said.

He said the evacuation exercises was being led by the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs and coordinated by the National Emergency Management Agency with the involvement of all the relevant agencies.

Mr. Datti said that among the delegation are Sadiya Farouq, the Federal Commissioner, National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, Julie Okah-Donli, the Director-General, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking.

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Others are Abike Dabiri-Erewa, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Comptroller-General, Nigerian Immigration Service, Muhammadu Babandede, and representatives of other security agencies.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the evacuation exercise was in line with the directives of President Muhammadu Buhari to evacuate all Nigerian nationals stranded in Libya and other countries.