Ibrahim Shuaibu in Kano
The federal government Saturday received no fewer than 198 Nigerians, who had illegally resided in Saudi Arabia, at the Malam Aminu Kano International Airport.
The 198 returnees were among the 1,800 Nigerians illegally residing in Saudi Arabia.
The illegal migrants voluntarily reported Nigerian Embassy for deporting to Nigeria in compliance with three month evacuation notice issued to them by Saudi authorities, a notice which is expiring on the 24th of this month.
The Consul consular at Consulate General of Nigeria in Jedda, Mohammed Yahaya Sani, who led the illegal immigrants to Nigeria, told reporters at Malam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA), that federal government sponsored their return to Nigeria said the first batch comprised 198 who arrived Kano airport.
Contrary to speculations, the Nigerians were not deported, rather they voluntarily accepted the amnesty offer granted by Saudi Arabia for illegal immigrants to leave the country.
“Those people you are seeing decided on their own to return back to Nigeria. The authorities in Saudi Arabia offered amnesty to all illegal immigrants to leave the country within three months and those were the first batch who agreed to leave Saudi Arabia for Nigeria.”
Mohammed also handed over 198 first batch of the illegal immigrants to officials of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) who converged at the airport to witness and document their returns before departed to their various locations in the country.
According to him, the 90-day amnesty expires on 24th of this month and that Nigeria is evacuating 1,800 Nigerians.
He also disclosed that the returnees includes males, females, children’s and their luggages.
Mohammed assured that the second batch of the flight will carry 220 persons to Nigeria within the week.