The Nigerian Federal Government evacuated 542 stranded Nigerians from the United Arab Emirates in the early hours of Sunday.
On a chartered flight run by Maxair, the citizens arrived at Abuja’s Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport at 4:29 a.m. on Sunday.
Three infants, 460 girls, and 79 males were among the evacuees.
A federal government team led by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) welcomed them at the airport, along with representatives from security organizations such as the National Commission for Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI), NAPTIP, the Nigerian Diaspora Commission, NDLEA, the Nigerian Correctional Service, the Nigerian Customs Service, Port Health Services, NCDC, and others.
The returnees were profiled by several pertinent authorities, cleared by the Nigerian Immigration Service, and then granted a transport fare token after being examined by health officials upon arrival.
Speaking earlier, Mustapha Habib Ahmed, the director general of NEMA who on behalf of the Federal Government officially welcomed the returnees, urged them to take lessons from their experiences and become law-abiding citizens who support economic progress and favourable perception of Nigeria.
The head of NEMA, who was represented by the Director of Finance and Accounts, Alhaji Sani Ahmed Jiba, declared that the Federal Government had given its approval for the evacuation and the distribution of cash money to the returnees to facilitate their travel back to their homes.
Atinuke Taibat Mohammed, the ambassador and consul general of Nigeria in Dubai, thanked the federal government for its exceptional assistance in ensuring the safe return of the stranded individuals during her speech.