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Number of Nigerians willing to leave South Africa ‘rises from 400 to 640’



Abike Dabiri-Erewa, chairperson of Nigerians in the Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), says 640 Nigerians have indicated interest to return to home from South Africa.

Dabiri-Erewa made this known while fielding questions from journalists on Monday. Godwin Adama, Nigeria’s consul-general in South Africa, had earlier said 400 Nigerians had indicated interest in returning home.

Adama, who disclosed this to NAN on Sunday, had said more Nigerians were still showing interest.

Nigerians and other African nationals were affected in the latest xenophobic attacks in South Africa.

In protest, Nigeria had boycotted the World Economic Forum (WEF) that held in the country. President Muhammadu Buhari also sent a special envoy to the South African government over the development.

Air Peace had offered to convey Nigerians seeking to return home from South Africa free of charge.

When she appeared before the senate committee on diaspora on Monday, Dabiri-Erewa said two aircraft would convey the Nigerians willing to come back home.

She said the federal government is still demanding that compensation be paid to the victims of the attacks.

“As I speak with you now, we have 640 Nigerians voluntarily registered to come home and they will be home in a couple of days and we believe that more will still be coming to register,” she said.

“Two planes will convey them. the envoy will be briefing the president. When we receive the first two batches, we will know how many more will come. With the envoy’s briefing to the president, we will be having everything in place.

“They went on their own and have volunteered to come back. They belong to states as well but on the part of the federal government, we have the GEEP programme that we encourage them to enrol in, small scale entrepreneurial programme with the Bank of Industry, Special Intervention Programme also.

“In the meantime, we continue to demand compensation for Nigerians that have been attacked in South Africa.”

On his part, Ajibola Bashiru, chairman of the committee, said the issue is one that required “political will.”