The Federal Government in collaboration with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) on Tuesday repatriated another 167 victims of human trafficking and forced labour stranded in Libya.
Mr Kabiru Musa, Charge d’ Affairs of the Nigerian Mission in Libya disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja.
Musa stated the 167 stranded Nigerians left the Mitiga International Airport, Tripoli on Tuesday night and are expected to arrive at the Murtala Muhammed International Lagos on Jan. 26.
He said the Federal government granted a special waiver to the IOM and the Nigerian Mission in Tripoli following the circumstances in Libya which hosts thousands of stranded Nigerians.
Musa said the exercise which is the first in the year included victims of human trafficking, forced labour, those released from detentions and irregular migrants on voluntary return who took Libya as a transit country.
“Today, we conducted the first evacuation exercise of the year with 167 stranded Nigerians already air bond to Nigeria and expected to arrive at the Murtala Mohammed Airport, Lagos on Wednesday morning.
“Those that were airlifted include men, women and children who are victims of irregular migration, human trafficking that have been stranded in Libya.
“The exercise was carried out under a special waiver granted to the IOM and the Mission here by the Federal government because of the special circumstance of Libya where we have a lot of stranded Nigerians.
“Libya hosts majority stranded Nigerians as it is a transit country for irregular migrants and most of them end up getting stocked here and begin to suffer.
“The Federal Government is however living to its promise of ensuring that no Nigerian is left stranded in the country and by God’s grace we will achieve this.
“Arrangements have been made on ground back in Nigeria to receive them and reunite them with their families,” Musa stated.
Musa stated that the exercise was conducted under the COVID-19 protocols with proper supervision of 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.