The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) yesterday received another batch of stranded Nigerians in Libya.
The returnees, totaling 178, arrived the cargo wing of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, at 6:20 p.m aboard a Boeing 700-787 Al Buraq Airline with registration number 5A-DMG.
The Nation reports that the returnees, comprising 73 adult females, 13 girls, six infant females, 63 adult males, 15 boys and 14 infant males, made up the ninth batch received this year in Lagos alone.
NEMA’s Director General Mustapha Habib Ahmed said the returnees were assisted back to the country by International Organisation for Immigration’s (IOM’s) Voluntary Assisted Returnees programme sponsored by the European Union (EU).
Ahmed, who was represented by the Coordinator of the Lagos Territorial Office, Ibrahim Farinloye, urged the returnees to look for opportunities that abound in the country and stop seeking greener pastures through irregular means.
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He advised the youths to shun vices that they might have been exposed to at the country of departure, emphasising the need to embrace peace.
Other agencies at the reception of the returnees included the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), the police and Port Health officials.
Also, in its efforts to curb human trafficking, NAPTIP has partnered the Judiciary to work out stiffer punishment to offenders.
NAPTIP’s DG, Dr. Fatima Waziri-Azi, who announced this while delivering a lecture at a two-day capacity building workshop for the National Association of Women Judges (NAWJN) in collaboration with the National Judicial Institute (NJI) in Abuja, urged judicial officers to ensure that human traffickers and sex offenders get the maximum punishment provided by law to deter others.
The DG regretted that some past offenders were given light sentences which further encouraged them as they returned to their ways until they were rearrested.
According to her, cases of repeat offenders posed grave danger to the dimension of human trafficking in the country.
Waziri-Azi reminded judges that their roles were indispensable in eradicating the human trafficking menace and other associated crimes.
“It is important to be adequately acquainted with the provisions of the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act, 2015 (TIPPEA) because the aim of the Act, as stated in Section 1, is to provide an effective and comprehensive legal and institutional framework for the prohibition, prevention, detection, prosecution and punishment of human trafficking and related offences in Nigeria,” she said.