Sanwo-Olu gives N20K each to 315 returnees from South Africa


Governor Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State on Wednesday gave N20,000 to each of
the second batch of 315 Nigerians evacuated from South Africa.
The fresh batch of returnees arrived a week after another 187
Nigerians fleeing xenophobia came back from South Africa.
The joyous returnees arrived at the Cargo Wing of the Murtala Muhammed
International Airport, Lagos at about 7.21p.m aboard an Air Peace B777
aircraft with registration number 5N-BWI.
The flight, which originated from the OR Tambo International Airport,
Johannesburg was received by Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairman,
Nigerians in Diaspora Commission and Air Peace Chairman, Mr Allen
Also on ground was Mr Jermaine Sanwo-Olu, Senior Special Assistant to
the Lagos State Governor on Diaspora.
Presenting the token on behalf of Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Mr Jermaine
Sanwo-Olu said that the money was a palliative for the returnees.
Sanwo-Olu said that the returnees from Lagos State would be
transferred to the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF), where
they would be trained on skill acquisition.
Dabiri-Erewa told newsmen that the returnees would be profiled
according to their states and local governments of origin to
complement the federal government’s effort in reintegrating them.
She said apart from giving the returnees stipends to get back to their
respective states, there was also a medical team on ground to provide
assistance to those with medical conditions.
Dabiri-Erewa also noted that the Nigeria High Commission was working
with the South African authorities to reduce the unnecessary delays
which had so far characterised the evacuation exercise.
On his part, Onyema told newsmen that some Nigerians were stranded in
South Africa for over four years and could not return home due to
financial difficulties and lack of proper documentation.
He said: “What Air Peace is doing to freely evacuate Nigerians from
South Africa is part of our support to the President Muhammadu Buhari
administration and we are doing it wholeheartedly.
“The airline is only asking the government to do what it has been
doing to facilitate the smooth return of the Nigerians.
“We are not asking for any refund because we knew that the cost of
evacuating the Nigerians will exceed N300 million at the end of the
“We are so happy that even our pilots and crew that went to South
Africa refused to take their allowances saying that it is their own
way of showing patriotism,” Onyema said.
He commended the Nigerian government for the matured diplomatic way it
was handling the xenophobia issue with its South African counterpart
and called on other well-meaning Nigerians to assist in the
resettlement of the returnees.
One of the returnees, Chuks Okoma from Delta State, thanked God for
sparing his life considering the ordeal faced by Nigerians in South
Okoma said that he had been in South Africa for six years without a
job and sleeping in the street.
Another returnee, Michael Udoh, narrated how some foreigners were
burnt in South Africa, adding that they were unable to move around.
Udoh, who had been in South Africa for six years, said that the
country refused to renew his work permit after it expired, thus making
him jobless

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