The Federal Government says it has a record of 2,778 Nigerian migrants registered in accessible detention camps in Libya, ready for repatriation.
This was revealed in a statement signed by the Tiwatope Elias-Fatiile, Spokesperson, Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, saying the country’s embassy in Libya had been visiting detention camps to identify Nigerians for registration.
The Ministry stated that those registered were issued Emergency Travel Certificates adding that the embassy, in collaboration with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), repatriates 250 migrants weekly and had returned 3,000 of them so far.
“The Embassy, in collaboration with the IOM repatriates 250 Nigerian migrants by flight to Lagos weekly – each flight can accommodate only 250 passengers,” the statement read.
“The repatriation is a continuous exercise and the Embassy routinely issues the requisite travel documents to the migrants.
“The Embassy will continue to engage the legitimate government in Libya and other stakeholders in addressing the plight of Nigerian migrants in that country.”
The Ministry further said that the Foreign Affairs Minister Geoffrey Onyeama had invited the Nigerian Embassy’s Head of Mission, Mr Iliya Fachano, to Abuja for consultations.
“He is in Abuja already and during the period of the consultations, arrangements have been made for him to address press conferences on the issue.
“This would afford the Nigerian public the opportunity to hear from him directly.”
The Ministry, however, advised intending Nigerian travellers to avoid Libya at this period, because of the dangers they may encounter in the process of their journey.
While condemning the slave market in Libya, the Ministry said it would engage the UN, African Union, European Union and other stakeholders to ensure that the perpetrators were brought to justice.