Saudi Authorities Repatriate 198 Illegal Nigerians

Mark Babatunde July 25, 2017
The 198 returnees are part of the 1,800 Nigerians said to be living illegally in Saudi Arabia. Photo Credit: Today ng

Saudi Arabian authorities deported 198 immigrants living illegally in the kingdom Saturday.

The number of deportees was reportedly out of 1,800 Nigerians living illegally in Saudi Arabia who have been granted amnesty to return home.

According to NAN, the 198 returnees, including women and children, were received on arrival at Nigeria’s Malam Aminu Kano International Airport by officials of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

Mohammed Yahaya-Sani, a senior official at the Nigerian Consulate in Jedda, Saudi Arabia, who accompanied the returnees aboard a Med-View Airline flight to Nigeria, told reporters at the airport that the Nigerian government sponsored the return of the returnees.

In March, Saudi Interior Minister Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif bin Abdulaziz announced a 90-day amnesty period called “A nation with no legal violator,” where any one in breach of the country’s residency and labor rules or regulations would be free to leave without facing penalties.

According to the minister, undocumented immigrants without residency or work permits who failed to take advantage of the amnesty period would face punishment, including fines, deportation, or imprisonment.

In fact, toward the end of the amnesty period, the Ethiopian government led calls from several quarters pleading for an extension from Saudi authorities; the amnesty period officially ended Monday.

Yahaya-Sani told reporters on arrival in Nigeria that the returnees will not be considered as deportees since they voluntarily accepted the amnesty offer granted them by the Saudi authorities asking all illegal immigrants to leave the country.

“Those people you are seeing decided on their own to return back to Nigeria. The authorities in Saudi Arabia offered amnesty to all illegal immigrants to leave the country within three months and those were the first batch who agreed to leave Saudi Arabia for Nigeria,” Yahaya-Sani said.

Last Edited by:Abena Agyeman-Fisher Updated: July 25, 2017


Must Read

Connect with us

Join our Mailing List to Receive Updates