By Tunde Johnson, Abuja
The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) says a total of 16,387 Nigerians were repatriated from various countries in 2017.
Muhammad Babandede, Comptroller- General of Nigeria Immigration Service who disclosed this on Monday in Abuja said that 5,908 were from Libya, 3,836 from Saudi Arabia and 6,643 from other countries, including South Africa, Italy and Austria.
Babandele while briefing newsmen in Abuja on the findings by the Federal Government delegation to Libya led by Geoffrey Onyeama, Minister of Foreign Affairs on January 5, 2018, described the trend as disturbing.
Other members of the team were, A bike Dabiri-Erewa, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Julie Okah-Donli, Director-General, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, and Sadiya Faruq, Federal Commissioner, National Commission for Refugees.
The CG, who was also on the delegation said, “I want to state that in 2017 alone, we received into the country deportees specifically from Libya, 5,908.
“So if you add to the number we received on January 7, which was 485 from Libya, it will give you 6,393 deportees we received from Libya.”
He said though there were many Nigerians in slave camps in Libya, a good number of Nigerians were also living in the Arab country legally.
The Immigration Service boss said the delegation met with Nigerians who were victims of traffickers, some of whom had been sexually exploited.
“The ratio of those deported on January 7 is very interesting, 398 males, 84 females, 3 children,” he added.