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NEMA repatriates 975 stranded Nigerians in Niger Republic

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The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) says it repatriated 975 stranded Nigerians from Niger Republic in 2023.

The NEMA Coordinator, Kano Territorial Office, Dr Nuradeen Abdullahi, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Kano.

Abdullahi said the returnees were brought back under the care of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) from Niamey, Niger’s capital, through a voluntary repatriation programme.

“The programme was for the distressed who had left the country to seek greener pastures in various European countries and could not afford to return when their journey became frustrated,’’ he said.

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The returnees comprised 561 male, 152 female adults and 262 children from Enugu, Kaduna, Kano, Borno, Yobe, Sokoto and Bauchi States, Abdullahi added.

The coordinator said the returnees were trained on various skills and provided seed capital for self-reliance.

He advised Nigerian youths to avoid endangering their lives by engaging in irregular migration in search of greener pastures in other countries, adding that no country was better than Nigeria.

“There are opportunities in Nigeria, you don’t need to say you must have a white-collar job to survive, all you need is determination to survive.

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“If you must travel abroad, do so legally and through the right channels to avoid falling prey to human traffickers and other forms of exploitation,” he added.

According to him, there is a need for a massive campaign to sensitize the populace on the dangers of seeking greener pastures in other countries through illegal means.

“There is also the need for serious surveillance at our borders to prevent the returnees from going out through the borders,” Abdullahi said.

NAN reports that the returnees were handled by emergency officials from their states, the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and IDPs, Nigeria Red Cross and security agencies.

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