Chairman/CEO of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa led government officials to receive the 187 South African Returnees yesterday.
The returnees arrived at about at 9.35 pm on Wednesday, September 11, on-board an Air Peace flight.
Thanking Air Peace for the gesture, Hon. Dabiri-Erewa, said a total of 187 Nigerians were evacuated , amongst whom over 30 were children.
The NIDCOM Chairman said about 317 were initially billed to return on the flight which experienced over 15 hours delay by the South African authorities.
She said the development follows a directive from President Muhammadu Buhari to evacuate Nigerians in South Africa willing to return home.
“The President gave this order after receiving the report of the special envoy whom he dispatched to South Africa over xenophobic attacks.” She said.
Hon. Dabiri-Erewa told the returnees that apart from transport stipend to convey them to their various destinations, for ease of communication, they were also to receive SIM cards with N40,000 worth of talk time, plus 9GB of data valid for 2 months; as well as a soft loan from the Bank of Industry to support those interested in small trade and medium scale businesses.
She explained that a program of reintegration will also be put in place and subsequently officials of the bank of industry were also on hand to brief them.
The returnees were excited at the reception they received on their return home, that they all got up to render the National Anthem to the admiration of all present.
The returnees, however, thanked President Buhari, the Chairman of Air Peace as well as the Consul General in South Africa, Mr Godwin Adama for their efforts.