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IOM seeks jobs, rehabilitation for 7,746 returnees from Libya

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The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has urged the federal and state governments to intensify their job creation programmes to accommodate no fewer than 7,746 Nigerians that have lately been repatriated from Libya.

The United Nations’ body, it was learnt, is worried that job opportunities and rehabilitation exercises for returnees are far in-between, encouraging some of the voluntary returnees to re-embark on the search for greener pastures via illegal routes.

This is as another batch of 165 Nigerians erstwhile stranded in Libya landed at the cargo section of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) Lagos at the weekend, aboard an Al Buraq charted aircraft, with registration number 5A-DMG.

The returnees include 68 female adults, six female children and a female infant. Others are 89 male adults and a male infant. The effort was another of the initiatives of the partnership between IOM and the European Union.

IOM Head of Mission in Nigeria, Enira Krdzalic, said the IOM, with assistance from EU, have till date repatriated 7,746 Nigerians back home from various prisons and detention camps in war-torn Libya.

The Zonal Coordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Yakubu Suleiman, confirmed that about 50 per cent of the total returnees are from Edo State, while Delta State comes second, with 15 per cent. Most of the remaining 34 states of the federation make up the remaining 35 per cent.

The Guardian learnt that contrary to promises federal and state governments’ officials made to some of the returnees on arrival, inability to fully reintegrate with their communities and get jobs are forcing a lot to reconsider their stay.

A senior official of the National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), told The Guardian that “poverty is the main reason all these returnees left in the first place and nothing has changed in that regard, if not worse.


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