Mr. Kabiru Musa, Charge d’Affaires of the Nigerian Mission in Libya, revealed this in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja.
Musa said the 167 stranded Nigerians left Tripoli’s Mitiga International Airport on Tuesday night and are expected to arrive at Murtala Muhammed International Lagos on January 26.
He said the federal government has granted a special waiver to IOM and the Nigerian Mission in Tripoli following the circumstances in Libya, which is home to thousands of stranded Nigerians.
Musa said the exercise, which is the first of the year, included victims of human trafficking, forced labour, people released from detention and voluntary returning irregular migrants who took Libya as a transit country.
“Today, we are conducting the first evacuation exercise of the year with 167 stranded Nigerians who already have an air link to Nigeria and are expected to arrive at Murtala Mohammed Airport, Lagos on Wednesday morning.
“Those who were airlifted include men, women and children who are victims of irregular migration, human trafficking who have been stranded in Libya.
“The exercise was held under a special waiver granted to IOM and the Mission government here due to the special circumstances in Libya, where we have many Nigerians stranded.
“Libya hosts most of the stranded Nigerians as it is a transit country for irregular migrants and most of them end up being stored here and begin to suffer.
“However, the federal government is keeping its promise to ensure that no Nigerian is left stranded in the country, and by the grace of God, we will succeed.
“Arrangements have been made on land in Nigeria to receive them and reunite them with their families,” Musa said.
Musa stated that the exercise was conducted under COVID-19 protocols with proper supervision from the Libyan authorities and the Nigerian Mission in Tripoli.
He thanked the Libyan authorities for their maximum support in ensuring the success of the evacuation exercise.
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