The Chairman/CEO of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa led officials to receive the 187 Nigerian Returnees from South Africa. The Returnees arrived at about 9.35 pm on Wednesday, September 11, on-board an Air Peace flight.
According to Gabriel Odu of the Communications Unit of the Commission, Hon Erewa commended the Management of Air Peace for the kind gesture. A total of 187 Nigerians were evacuated , amongst whom over 30 were children. Meanwhile, about 317 were initially billed to return on the flight which experienced over 15 hours delay by the South African authorities.
The development follows a directive from President Muhammadu Buhari to evacuate Nigerians in South Africa willing to return home due to renewed xenophobic uprisings. The President gave the order after receiving the report of the special envoy whom he dispatched to South Africa over xenophobic attacks.
Hon Dabiri-Erewa told the Returnees that apart from transport stipend to convey them to their various destinations, for ease of communication, they are to receive SIM cards with N40,000 Naira worth of air time, plus 9GB of data valid for 2 months as well as a soft loan from the Bank of Industry to support those interested in small trade and businesses. A program ot reintegration will also be put in place subsequently. Meanwhile, Officials of the bank of industry were also on hand to brief them.
The Nigerian Returnees with joy and excitement at the reception they received on their return home, they all got up to render the National Anthem thanking President Buhari, the Chairman of Air Peace as well as the Consul General in South Africa and the High Commission in Pretoria for their efforts in ensuring a successful return home to Nigeria.
The Chairman of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission Hon Abike Dabiri-Erewa therefore urged other Nigerians in South South to remain peaceful and good Ambassadors as Federal Government is making firmer strategies for their safety and security in that country.
Meanwhile, arrangements for airlift of Second Batch of Nigerians from South Africa are underway.