29 December 2017

Nigerian Carriers to Airlift Stranded Nigerians From Libya

Lagos — Barring last any minute change, Nigerian carriers will evacuate all Nigerian passengers stranded in Libya, Daily Trust can report.

Already, the Presidential Fact-Finding Mission set up by President Muhammadu Buhari has opened up discussions with two indigenous airlines - Max Air and Med-View - for the operations.

The 17-man mission was tasked to, within 38 days, open up discussions with Libyan authorities and evacuate stranded Nigerians; some of whom are languishing in Libyan detention facilities.

Before now, the International Organisation of Migration (IOM) has been rescuing Nigerians from Libya back home using airlines from the North African country especially Libyan Airlines and Buraq Air.

Some aviation experts have queried the non-involvement of Nigerian carriers in the exercise which started as far back as 2016 with over 5000 Nigerians already returned home.

However, the committee is expected to evacuate all Nigerians willing to return home which explains why Nigerian carriers are being contracted.

A source said about 5000 immigrants would be airlifted by the two carriers within the stipulated time.

The source, privy to the discussion, told Daily Trust that the operation would commence any moment from now as the committee has already finalized arrangement with the two Nigerian carriers.

Max Air and Med-View are household names in Hajj operations as they are the two Nigerian carriers appointed by the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) to airlift 2017 pilgrims.

Buhari's 17-man rescue team is headed by Minister of Foreign Affairs Geoffrey Onyeama.

Others are Comptroller-General of Immigration, Mohammed Babandede; NEMA Director-General Mustapha Maihaja; Senior Special Assistant to the President on the Diaspora Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa; National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP)'s Director-General Julie Okah-Donli; National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq, some diplomats and nine members of a sub-technical team.

Nigeria

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