By Gift Olivia Samuel, The Sight News
ABUJA: The Chairman/CEO, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission(NIDCOM), Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa on Monday, announced that 319 Nigerians will be evacuated from South Africa on Tuesday.
This is just as she gave updates on the state of the 187 Nigerians who had earlier returned from South Africa due to the xenophobic attacks.
Dabiri-Erewa who spoke to Journalists in Abuja, stated that the returnees that have been profiled according to their states, had over 30 children among them, stressing that those who returned are not criminals, but very hard-working Nigerians who have lost everything they have ever worked for in South Africa.
“Their only crime was being black and being Nigerian. We had fathers separated from their children. There is a widow with four children who just had to come back home and there are already offers for scholarship to her children. We expect the state government to take responsibility for their citizens that have returned,”she said.
The CEO revealed the state analysis of returnees’ details and number of enrolled returnees to include; Abia 7, Anambra 13, Benue 1, Delta 15, Ebonyi 2, Edo 13, Ekiti 6, Enugu 7, Imo 28, Kogi 1, Kwara 3, Lagos 7, Ogun 30, Ondo 6, Osun 6, and Oyo 23; making it a total of 168 people.
According to her, “The states with the largest returnees are, Ogun state, 30 and Imo 28. When they returned, everybody got a Sim card and airtime that will last for two months and some money for transportation”.
She also announced that the Bank of Industry (BOI) has offered them soft loans, urging the documented returnees to contact the BOI on 07006275386664.
Furthermore, Dabiri-Erewa announced that another set of 319 Nigerians expected to be evacuated by Air peace, will return Tuesday evening, as she appealed to state governments to ensure proper reintegration for their citizens.
“Also, 319 Nigerians have registered to return, they are still being documented. As the next batch comes in, we will also profile them. State governments will be communicated to and we expect the government to help them”, she sad.
On the issue of the returnees not allowed into South Africa until after 10 years, she said it can’t be confirmed, but stressed that whatever the matter might be, it will be resolved among the mission of the two countries, as the South African government has already sent envoy to Nigeria.
She appreciated all Nigerians who made the evacuation possible and appealed to corporate bodies to lend their support, adding that, “This is the time to show ourselves love and unity as Nigerians”.