IOM repatriates 9,822 Nigerian migrants in 18 months

IOM recovers body of 21-year-old Nigerian as migrants’ death toll hits 1,134

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) on Friday said the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) in 18 months assisted no fewer than 9, 822 stranded Nigerian migrants from 10 different countries to voluntarily return home.

The Zonal Coordinator of NEMA, South West Zone, Yakubu Suleiman, made this known while receiving another batch of 153 Assisted Voluntary Returnees (AVR) brought back by IOM from Libya.

They arrived at the Cargo Wing of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos at 1.05 a.m. on Friday.

Suleiman said a majority of the migrants were from Libya with about 8,657 voluntary returnees, while others were brought back from Niger, Mali, Morocco, Liberia, Burkina Faso, France, Ireland, Austria and Poland, made up the remaining balance.

He noted that IOM had been working with NEMA and other federal agencies towards giving the returnees appropriate humanitarian assistance since the exercise started.

According to him, the returnees were brought back between April 2017 and September 2018.

He said, “The IOM analysis of the exercise reveals that out of the total figure, 59 percent of the returnees are males and 41 percent are females.

“Further analysis shows that out of the above, 57 per cent are adult males, adult females consisted of 37 percent, minor males are three percent and minor females are also three percent.”

Suleiman said 215 of the women returned under various stages of pregnancy while 214 males and 141 females had various degree of medical challenges.

He also disclosed was that there were 59 male and 52 female unaccompanied minors, while about 24 males and 174 females needed psychosocial first aid.