The first batch of 80 out of 508 Nigerians to be repatriated from Saudi Arabia arrived the country Wednesday, an official of the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, has said.
The assistant director, relief and rehabilitation, NEMA, Daniel Obot, disclosed that the 80 deportees, mainly women and children, arrived Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja on board an Ethiopian Airline plane at about noon.
They are among the 508 Nigerians illegally residing in Saudi Arabia, who had indicated interest to return home following the clampdown on illegal residents by the Saudi government.
The federal government quickly approved the repatriation of those Nigerians who had voluntarily agreed to return.
Obot said the deportees who hail from eight states in the North-east and North-central parts of the country would be handed over to officials of agencies in their various states after due clearance.
Thirty-one of the deportees are from Kano state, 19 from Borno, three from Bauchi, eight from Jigawa, seven from Yobe, two from Plateau, one from Nasarawa and nine from Katsina.
More deportees are expected to arrive in the country on Thursday, while about 951 Nigerians, who were arrested in Saudi, are still being held in a camp.