The federal government of Nigeria has evacuated 542 Nigerians stranded in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), following the country’s blanket visa ban on Nigerians.
The Head of the Press Unit of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Manzo Ezekiel in a statement signed yesterday said they were received at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport by a Federal Government team led by NEMA and airport officials, security agencies including National Commission for Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI), Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Nigerian Correctional Service, Nigerian Customs Service, Port Health Services amongst others.
According to Ezekiel, the returnees were screened by the health officials, profiled by various relevant agencies and cleared by the Nigerian Immigration Service before being given a token of transport fare by NEMA.
The evacuees arrived at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja aboard Boeing 747 of a Max Air Chartered flight.
On board the plane, which touched down at 4:29 a.m, were 79 males, 460 females and three infants.
Director General, NEMA, Mustapha Habib Ahmed who was represented by the Director of Finance and Accounts, Alh. Sani Ahmed Jiba, received the returnees on behalf of the Federal Government, urging them to learn from their experiences and be law-abiding citizens.
He said the Nigerian Government approved the evacuation as well as a token for the returnees to support their movement back to their homes.
The Consul General of Nigeria in Dubai, Amb. Atinuke Taibat Mohammed, who accompanied the returnees back on the flight, appreciated the Federal Government for the special intervention in the safe evacuation of the stranded citizens back home.
The evacuation is coming on the heels of the increasing harassment of Nigerians in the Middle East country following the tightening of her immigration laws which invalidated the stay of some Nigerians.