Following the ban on Nigerians seeking to visit Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), the federal government has evacuated back to Nigeria a total of 542 Nigerians stranded in UAE, yesterday.
The returnees, who arrived at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja on board Max Air chartered flight yesterday at about 4:29am, consisted of 79 males, 460 females and three infants.
They were received by a federal government team led by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and airport officials, security agencies including National Commission for Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI), NAPTIP, Nigerian Diaspora Commission, NDLEA, Nigerian Correctional Service, Nigerian Customs Service, Port Health Services, NCDC and others.
According to a statement by head of NEMA press unit, Manzo Ezekiel, the returnees, on arrival were screened by the health officials, profiled by various relevant agencies and cleared by Nigerian Immigration Service before being given a token of transport fare by NEMA before leaving the airport.
Addressing the returnees at the airport, on behalf of the federal government, the director general of NEMA, Mustapha Habib Ahmed, admonished them to learn from their experiences, be law abiding citizens and to promote economic growth and positive image of Nigeria.
Represented by the director of finance and accounts of the agency, Alhaji Sani Ahmed Jiba, the NEMA boss said the federal government had approved the evacuation and provision of the token for the returnees to support their movement back to their homes.
In her remarks, the consul general of Nigeria in Dubai, Ambassador Atinuke Taibat Mohammed, who accompanied the returnees back on the flight, appreciated the federal government for the special intervention in safe evacuation of the stranded citizens back home.