The National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, said 1,268 Nigerians voluntarily returned from Libya from December 15, 2016 to May 16, 2017.
Mustapha Maihaja, the Director General, NEMA, made the disclosure while receiving a fresh batch of 258 Nigerians who arrived on Tuesday in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the returnees arrived the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, aboard a chartered Libya Airlines Airbus A330-200 with registration number 5A-LAU at about 8:30 p.m.
They were received at the Hajj Camp area of the airport by officers of the Nigerian Immigration Service, the National Agency for the Protection of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) and the Police.
Also on ground to receive them were officials of NEMA, the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN.
Mr. Maihaja, who was represented by Onimode Bandele, the Deputy Director, Search and Rescue, said the fresh returnees came along with 20 children and infants.
He said the returnees were brought back by the International Organisation for Migration, IOM, and the Nigerian Embassy in Libya.
According to him, another batch of Nigerians is expected back on May 25, and the exercise will continue as long as those stranded in Libya are willing to return home.
“Since December 2016, we have been able to bring back 1,268 Nigerians and the exercise will continue in collaboration with the IOM
“The Federal Government is collaborating with the various state governments to rehabilitate and reintegrate the returnees,” he said.
Also speaking, Julia Burpee, Public Information Officer, IOM, said the organisation had facilitated the return of over 7,000 Nigerians from various countries in the past 16 years.
She said the organisation would assist the returnees to get back on their feet and would provide assistance to others willing to leave the North African country.