THE Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has disclosed that 640 Nigerians in South Africa have voluntarily registered to return home following the xenophobic attacks in the country.
Dabiri-Erewa disclosed this Monday, after a closed door meeting with the Senate Committee on Diaspora and non-governmental organisations in Abuja.
She said that those what have volunteered to return to Nigeria will be home in a few days, “and we believe that more will still be coming to register.”
Dabiri-Erewa explained that the number of people billed to return means that “two planes will convey them home, now the envoy will be briefing the president and with everything in place, the president will be taking a few more decisions after the briefing.”
She said that the Federal Government had pledged that any Nigerian that wanted to return would be given the required support
According to her, the returnees would be encouraged to enroll and participate the various government social intervention programmes.
“We will encourage them to enrol in small scale entrepreneurial programme with the Bank of Industry with the social investment programme, so there are things that they can do,” she said.
The NIDCOM boss noted that the government would continue to demand for compensation for property of Nigerians destroyed in the various attacks.
She related that eight South African police personnel had been charged to court for their involvement in the killing of Nigerians in the previous attacks, while another four officers were recently arrested.
Dabiri-Erewa reassured that “we will continue to work on that and we assure Nigerians wherever they are that this government will come to their aid.
“For Nigerians in South Africa, they have also been advised to remain calm, why we continue to ensure justice for all Nigerians affected.
“There must be consequences for actions; South Africa should have the political will to talk to their people to put a stop to it.
“A lot of education, awareness need to go down to the South Africans on the street, who still believe that foreigners are their problem.”
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the committee, Senator Bashiru Ajibola, said that further measures on ending the attacks would be decided by President Muhammadu Buhari after being briefed by the Special Envoy to South Africa.
He said NIDCOM had assured the committee that the strategic objectives effort of Nigerian Government on tackling the matter was still in focus.
According to him, the objectives, among others was to ensure that the South African Government lives to its responsibility of protecting life and propertiy prosecutions of culprits and payment of compensations to affected Nigerians.