‘640 Nigerians Will Return Soon From South Africa’ Abike Dabiri-Erewa
Abike Dabiri-Erewa, chairperson of Nigerians in the Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), has revealed that about 640 Nigerians have indicated interest to leave the country and return to Nigeria. She disclosed this much to journalists yesterday, this report varied from the previous one in which Godwin Adama, Nigeria’s Consul-General in South Africa, had said that 400 Nigerians indicated interest to return home.
Nigerian government and individuals like Jim Ovia of Zenth Bank, had boycotted the World Economic Forum (WEF) that held in the country, in protest of the killings. President Muhammadu Buhari also sent a special envoy to the South African government over the development, while Air Peace offered to convey Nigerians who were willing to return home from South Africa free of charge.
Abike however, told the senate committee on diaspora that two aircrafts would convey the Nigerians willing to come back home, and that 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 come 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 required “political will.”