Chairman of the Nigeria Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, who received the first batch of 187 Nigerian returnees from South Africa back to Nigeria on Wednesday, has assured that the Nigerian government led by Buhari would assist give necessary assistance to help tem fully settle back into the country.
The B777 aircraft, with registration number 5N-BWI, landed at the Cargo Wing of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, at 9.37 p.m. after departing Thambo International Airport, Johannesburg.
They were received by the Chairman of Nigeria Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Air Peace Chairman, Allen Onyema, and representatives from the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Nigeria Immigration Service and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria.
Revealing plans to assist the returnees, Abike Dabiri said before they arrived that;
“The bank of industry will also be here to offer some entrepreneurship programme and some support to start a small business and there would be some stipends for transportation to take you home and we will profile them and for those who want to get any training, they will decide what kind of training they want to do and the Bank of industry will be there to provide it” .
The returnees also revealed that airtime worth about N40,000 was also provided for them to be able to reach out to their families.
Air Peace chairman, Allen Onyema, told newsmen that the airline spent over N300 million to airlift the affected Nigerians.
“We want to send a signal to the world that Nigerians are their brothers’ keepers,” he said.
“I support the Federal Government and President Muhammadu Buhari and this gesture is an assistance to the government to bring our brothers back home.
“We are offering free trip to Nigerians in South Africa to return home after going through the traumatic experience of the attacks.
“Air Peace has said this is free and we are doing it in solidarity with the Federal Government.”
Some Nigerians had to be turned back over inadequate documentation for travelling with children while about seven others were detained in South Africa for allegedly entering the country illegally.