MMIA records 800 returnees from Libya in 2 months

From Pearl Ngwama, Lagos

The Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos has recorded about 800 Nigerian returnees arriving the country through its terminal between January and February 2020.

The figure covers those that were found wanting, deportees, voluntarily returnees and those repatriated.

Investigation revealed that the highest number on the list were voluntarily returnees, those who have found out that they can no longer tolerate staying in Libya.

It was also gathered that deportees were very negligible and repatriations were a little bit higher than deportation but the voluntary topped the list.

According to sources close to the immigration service at the airport, all the returnees were treated like normal passengers; profiled without stigmatization.

It was further revealed that there was no issue of human trafficking in the last two months through the airport.

On the Coronavirus currently ravaging the world, the source hinted that there has been a great reduction in the issuance of Visa on Arrival (VoA) by men of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) at the MMIA, Lagos.

Investigation at the airport revealed that a total of 265 on arrival visas were issued in February as against 440 in January by NIS at the MMIA with a decline of 175.

This shows the implication of Covid-19 to business investors coming to Nigerian or ease of doing business in the country.

However, both the Port Health and immigration personnel have been working assiduously to ensure effective coverage especially in the area of Yellow card.

It was also learnt that the earlier agitation between passengers and immigration personnel in the wake of the coronavirus has stopped as passengers now surrender their documents for check.

On protection of officers against Covid-19, our source said “we are provided with sanitisers and face mask everyday, it has become a consumable, we change it on and on and Port Health always give us advice on how to use them, so we have become Port Health officers in disguise.

“Our embarkation form; the information there are very reliable and that is the bulk of the data for the passengers on passenger manifest, so these are the raw data that give us a trace to the passenger in line and it is really helpful.”

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