The first batch of 80 Nigerians of the 508 repatriated from Saudi Arabia arrived in the country on Wednesday, according to an official.
The Assistant Director, Relief and Rehabilitation at the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Daniel Obot, who disclosed this to newsmen at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, said the Federal Government approved the repatriation of the Nigerians who had been residing illegally in Saudi Arabia after they voluntarily agreed to return.
Obot said the deportees would be handed over to officials of their State Emergency Management Agency after due clearance.
Also speaking, the Director, Consular and Immigration Service in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Abdulazeez Dan-Kano, said the 80 deportees were from eight states.
Thity-one of the deportees were from Kano state, while Borno had 19 and three were from Bauchi. Jigawa has eight, Yobe seven, two from Plateau, Nasarawa one, and nine from Katsina.
Dan-Kano added that the deportees, were mainly women, children and the sick, adding that more deportees were expected to arrive in the country on Thursday.
Dan- Kano said the deportees had indicated interest to return to Nigeria following a November deadline given by the Saudi authorities for all illegal residents to leave.
He disclosed that 951 Nigerians, who were arrested in Saudi, were still being held in a camp.