Abuja — A PRIVATE local airline has volunteered to evacuate Nigerians free of charge from South Africa following the recent violence against foreign nationals.
Air Peace Airlines has made the offer, which the government of President Muhammadu Buhari has endorsed.
The evacuations are to begin on Friday (tomorrow).
Allen Onyema, made the offer following incidents which the government described as unfortunate xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals, including Nigerians in South Africa.
"The general public is hereby advised to inform their relatives in South Africa to take advantage of this laudable gesture," said Ferdinand Nwonye, spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
He said interested Nigerians were therefore advised to liaise with the High Commission of Nigeria in Pretoria and the Consulate General of Nigeria in Johannesburg for further necessary arrangement.
The development is the latest twist in spiraling diplomatic tensions between the two African super powers.
Violence against migrant business operators has gripped South Africa in recent days.
Shops have been looted particularly in the economic hub of Durban.
Nigeria has been the country most outspoken against the attacks. An envoy sent by government was scheduled to arrive in South Africa on Thursday. It remained unclear if Buhari's state visit to South Africa, scheduled for October would still proceed.