The Comptroller General of Immigration, Mohammed Babandede has disclosed that about 16,387 Nigerians were repatriated from all over the world in 2017.
The immigration boss went further to state that of the number, 5, 908 deportees were from Libya 485 comprising of 3,498 males, 2,784 and 211 Children.
Also in the same year under review, 3,836 were repatriated from Saudi Arabia while other countries especially South Africa also repatriated 6,643 bringing the total number of repatriated Nigerians to 16, 387.
Babandede stated this on Monday in Abuja during a World Press Conference organised by the Federal government delegation who returned from a diplomatic and technical assessment of the migration situation in Libya.
He explained that there are different categories of repatriated Nigerians which comprised of illegal migrants, trafficked persons, smuggled persons, as well as regular migrants who were erroneously taken from the street and taken to the camp from where they were repatriated.
On how the Service was able to verify the true identity of the victims without a forensic or DNA tests he replied, “We have experts who confirm the identity of such persons. Some of them had passports and through their finger prints we were able to confirm their identity”.
He went further to state that there are experts who interviewed them and from their tongue, language and description of their towns they were able to deduce that they are truly Nigerians.
He equally cited an example where some Nigerian is claimed citizenship of other countries to evade repatriation but added that the Immigration personnel were able to puncture their tricks.
He also added that the Immigration Service will continue to beef up security across the boarders while all Nigerians are encourage to educate the youths on the dangers of illegal migration.
The Federal Commissioner for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons Sadiya Umar Farouk in her contribution, said that her Agency will concentrate on the integration and rehabilitation of the repatriated persons, adding that just releasing them to the public will create more social problems.
She said that they needed to be counselled and equipped with relevant skills to begin a new life maintaining that the Commission has all it takes to rehabilitate and reintegrate the affected persons.
The delegation was led by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, the Comptroller General of Immigration Mohammed Babadinde, The Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora Hon. Abike Dabiri,
The Director General of National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffick in Persons (NAPTIP) Julie Okah and The Federal Commissioner for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons Sadiya Umar Farouk as well as some technical experts.
Myke Uzendu, Abuja