The Federal Government has promised to foot the bills and other expenses incurred by over 1,000 Nigerians who were stranded in worn-torn Libya but have been brought back home.
The Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, made this known while on a visit to the Hajj Camp at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Rivers State, where the returnees are temporarily being taken care of.
This was contained in a statement Wednesday by Mr. Kazeem Akintunde, Special Assistant, Communication and Strategy to the Minister.
Professor Adewole, who described the returnees as ‘Buhari Boys and Girls’, urged government officials at the camp to make their stay as comfortable as possible, promising that the Federal Government would foot the bills of their reintegration back into the society.
The Minister, who noted that food, water, medical care and proper sanitation must be provided to the returnees, said that the Muhammadu Buhari administration would leave no stone unturned in its desire to make the returnees as comfortable as possible.
“They have had a very turbulent time in Libya and we must do all within our power to make their return to their fatherland as comfortable as possible. It is unfortunate that they lost hope in the country in the first instance, hence their decision to travel out to seek greener pastures, but they should not have ventured into a war-torn country.
“Libya has been in turmoil since the death of Muammar Gaddafi and I see no reason why many of them should have ventured into that country. Eighty percent of those I have interacted with left between six months and three years ago.
“By then, Libya was a war zone but after making that mistake, we are going to do all within our power to make their return easy for them,” he said.
He directed the camp commandant and other security agencies at the camp to maintain law and order and guide against possible crisis, while also calling on state governors to assist in the rehabilitation of citizens from their states.
He also visited the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital where 11 of the returnees with serious medical conditions are being treated.
He called on the medical staff at the hospital not to spare any expenses in ensuring that they get the best medical care at the hospital.
Some agencies at the camp include officials of NAPTIP, Immigration, Refugee foundation, DSS, Police, Port Health, health workers among others.
Over 5,000 Nigerians are expected to be repatriated back home in an operation being coordinated by the Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama.
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