No fewer than 542 stranded Nigerians in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have been evacuated back to Nigeria by the Federal Government through the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja.
The evacuees who arrived early on Sunday aboard a Max Air charted flight, 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 among others.
On arrival, 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 before leaving the airport.
Earlier, Director General NEMA Mustapha Habib Ahmed who officially received the returnees on behalf of the Federal Government admonished them to learn from their experiences and be law-abiding citizens that promote economic growth and positive image of Nigeria.
The NEMA boss who was represented by the Director of Finance and Accounts Sani Ahmed Jiba said the Federal Government had approved the evacuation and provision of the token for the returnees to support the movement of the returnees 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.
The flight from Dubai is the first following the recent approval granted by the Federal Government for the evacuation of stranded Nigerians from the UAE and India back home.