Nigeria: Another 319 Nigerians Return From South Africa

Nigeria on map.
18 September 2019

A second batch of 319 Nigerians returned from South Africa on Wednesday evening.

The returnees arrived on an Air Peace flight at the Murtala Muhammed International airport, Lagos, at about 7:21 p.m.

Details of the flight were contained in a statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The latest returnees join the 178 Nigerians who also returned voluntarily from South Africa last week. They were also airlifted by Air Peace.

Air Peace Commended

Earlier on Wednesday, Allen Onyema, chairman of Air Peace, was commended by Nigerian lawmakers at their plenary.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajamila, said Mr. Onyema sacrificed his primary purpose of business at no cost.

He also recommended Mr Onyema to the Federal Government for a national honour.

"On behalf of the House and the people's House, I appreciate and thank you and we use you as a point of call to all Nigerians to emulate this kind gesture," he added.

Care For Returnees

The Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, stated in a press conference on Monday that it was the "responsibility of state governors to integrate and empower Nigerians who are being evacuated from South Africa."

She revealed that the Nigerians will go through a reintegration process. The 178 Nigerians who arrived last week received SIM cards and airtime alongside transportation that would last them two months. They are also "already being profiled to get soft loans from the Bank of Industry (BOI)," she said.

The evacuation comes as a response to xenophobic attacks against Nigerians in South Africa during which properties and businesses belonging to Africans were destroyed.

The South African government has condemned the attacks and President Cyril Ramaphosa sent a peace envoy to Nigeria to apologise and call for "Pan African unity and solidarity."

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