384 out of 802 stranded Nigerians return from Saudi Arabia

THE Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) has announced the return of 384 out of 802 Nigerians from Saudi Arabia on Thursday.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs disclosed on Twitter that the second batch will arrive in the country on Friday and will be received at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, by the ministry’s officials.

According to a statement by the Ministry, “They (returnees) will be quarantined at the FCT Hajj camp for a period of 14 days in line with established COVID-19 protocols. Thereafter, the ministry will facilitate their movement to their respective home destinations.”

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Announcing the return of the first batch, NIDCOM said out of the 384 returnees, 300 were males while 83 were female, with one infant whose gender the Commission didn’t disclose.

NIDCOM said on Twitter, “384 Returnees (300 Males, 83 Females and one Infant) of the 802 stranded Nigerians just arrive at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja via Saudi Air flight B773 at about 1:10 pm local time today 28th January 2021.”

A viral video had emerged on the social media last week showing some Nigerians wrapped in black polythene bags lying on the floor in a packed room

A male narrator in the video said they had been stranded in the West Asian country for more than seven months.

“We are here for more than three months, six months, seven months, without any action, no better information on transport to Nigeria,” the male narrator in the video said.

    “Most nationals of other countries have been flown back to their countries. Only we Nigerians don’t have any source or way of getting back.

    “I’m here on behalf of others to seek your assistance to get us back to our country.”

    Abike Dabiri-Erewa, chairman of NIDCOM, while reacting to the video on Friday, said they would be evacuated on the 28th and 29th of January, “pending any unforeseen issues.”

    “The evacuation is expected to be carried out in two batches of 400 and 200 by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” Dabiri-Erewa said.


    Abeeb Alawiye formerly works with The ICIR as a Reporter/Social Media officer. Now work as a Senior Journalist with BBC News Yoruba. You can shoot him an email via [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @habsonfloww

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