252 Nigerians stranded in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) arrived at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos on Saturday.
The Emirates flight departed Dubai at 10:20am (7:20am Nigerian time) and arrived Lagos at about 3pm, it was learnt.
Saturday’s arrival brought to 4,984 the number of Nigerians evacuated from Dubai during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Daily Trust reports that the UAE Government had given Nigerians with expired document till August 17 to leave the country.
The Federal Government immediately swung into action to evacuate them which started since last week.
Among the returnees on Saturday, 180 had their tickets paid for by the UAE government for those who claimed they couldn’t afford a return ticket, the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) confirmed on its Twitter handle.
It said, “In total, 18 flights have so far evacuated 4,984 Nigerians from Dubai. Out of which the UAE government paid for 517 Nigerians on three Fly Dubai flights, and 380 Nigerians on Emirates Airline.”
NIDCOM confirmed that an additional 174 Nigerians would leave Dubai on 25th August aboard Fly Dubai paid for by the UAE government.
This, it said, will bring the total number of Nigerians evacuated gratis by Dubai authorities to 1,071.
Most Nigerians were stranded in the Middle East country in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the flight ban imposed by countries to curb the spread of the virus.
Chairman/CEO of NIDCOM, Abike Dabiri-Erewa had while speaking with newsmen at the MMIA penultimate week urged Nigerians whose travel documents had expired and are still stranded in Dubai to take advantage of the evacuation flights.