Fresh batch of 418 Nigerians from Saudi Arabia joined others on Wednesday bringing the total returnees to Nigeria to
1071 within three days.
Leading the inter-governmental agencies to receive the returnees, Amb.
Bolaji Akinremi, Director, Consular and Legal Department in the Ministry
of Foreign Affairs, said 255 and 398 returnees arrived Nigeria on Monday
and Tuesday respectively.
Akinremi said that the reintegration exercise was made possible through
the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, to
create a smooth rehabilitation process for the returnees.
He commended all other agencies like NAPTIP, Nigerians in Diaspora
Commission (NIDCOM) , NIMC, FCT Pilgrims Board and Public Health for
their wonderful coordination alongside with the Ministry of Foreign
According to him, the rapid testing method for Covid-19 detection was
carried out while the returnees were profiled into states and gender.
As against previous arrangement where each of them will stay in the camp
for seven to 14 days , he said the maximum number on camp is three days before they are released to go and meet their family members.
He assured the returnees that the accommodation at the camp has the
basic amenities which include a 24-hour medical service to look into the
welfare of the returnees before they are joined with their families.
The Ambassador said that a token amount of N20,000 was given to each of
the returnees for their transportation while free meals and toiletries
were supplied to all of them.
Representing Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, the Chairman NIDCOM, Abdur-Rahman
Balogun, Head of Media welcomed the returnees and promised that
everything will be done to make them comfortable in Nigeria.
He reiterated NIDCOM appeals to those still wishing to leave the country
due to one challenge or the other to have a rethink especially if they
do not have any job to do abroad to remain at home and think of what to
do for themselves.
Speaking in the same vein, the DG NAPTIP, Imaan Sulaiman-Ibrahim,
appreciated the efforts of the Saudi Arabia Government to liaise with
its counterparts in Nigeria to enable a thorough operation of bringing
Nigerians, in Saudi Arabia, home.
She said the Agency is equally profiling all the returnees and
counselling them as part of the rehabilitation process.
It will be recalled that more than 1000 Nigerian returnees from Saudi
Arabia were evacuated back to the country in January 2021.