(MENAFN - Arab News) Eighty illegal Nigerians out of 508 at a detention facility here have been sent home by their government. Daniel Obot, assistant director, relief and rehabilitation at the National Emergency Management Agency in Nigeria, said the federal government authorized the repatriation of the undocumented residents.
Ahmed Umar, Nigeria's consul general, said that the 508 Nigerians had voluntarily decided to go home.
"The federal government responded promptly to the needs of those Nigerians who wished to return home. The consulate provided food, blankets and other needs for women and children."
He said the officials also provided medical attention. The sick were taken to a clinic in the facility for checkups and treatment.
Umar said 1,150 Nigerians arrested by the Saudi government have already been deported.
Abubakar Bunu, the Nigerian ambassador, recently told local media that an estimated 1 million Nigerians live and work in the Kingdom, although he was unsure how many are illegal.
Bunu said undocumented Nigerian workers were afraid and only a few approached the embassy seeking consular help since the amnesty ended. He warned those residing illegally in the Kingdom they could face arrest and detention if caught.
In earlier reports, Abdulazeez Dan-Kano, director of consular and immigration services at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Nigeria, said that 951 Nigerians, who were arrested in the Kingdom, were still being held at a camp and could only return home if allowed to do so by the Saudi government.