LAGOS, Dec. 31 (Xinhua)
The last batch of Nigerians being repatriated from Saudi Arabia has arrived at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja, the West African country’s capital, a top
official said on Tuesday.
The remaining 131 deportees out of 518 were transported home, an official of the Immigration Service in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Abdulazeez Dan-Kano, told reporters. He said 51 of the deportees are from
Kano State, 17 from Borno, 16 from
Katsina State and 11 from Yobe. He said nine of the deportees were from
Jigawa, six from Plateau, while Kaduna and Bauchi states had five and four deportees respectively.
The director said Edo had three
deportees, while Nasarawa had two, with one deportee each from Kebbi, Ogun, Niger and Adamawa states.Dan-Kano said all the 518 deportees
arrived in the country in six batches
between Dec. 25 and Dec. 31.
He appealed to Nigerians still hiding in slums in Saudi Arabia to embrace the benevolence of the federal government and return home. Dan-Kano said the Nigerian Embassy in
Saudi Arabia had since begun
sensitization campaign on the need for proper documentation of Nigerians who were legal residents in the country.
He said most of the deportees were
Nigerians who traveled to Saudi Arabia for pilgrimage, but stayed there at the end of the exercise in search of greener pastures. The official said the affected Nigerians
had requested the government’s
assistance to facilitate their return.
Dan-Kano said the Saudi government had also started the deportation of more than 951 Nigerians in its custody. The affected Nigerians were arrested by the Saudi authorities at the expiration of the November deadline for all illegal immigrants to leave the country.