More Nigerians set to return, NIDCOM calls for support

Rahila Lassa, Abuja

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The Nigerian in Diaspora Commission, NIDCON, is calling on Corporate bodies and well-meaning Nigerians for support as the second batch of returnees arrive from South Africa.

Chairman of the Commission, Mrs Abike Dabiri- Erewa, made the call at a Press conference in Abuja, on the update of Nigerians in South Africa.

According to her, the first batch of 187 earlier returned, have been categorised according to their States of origin and the Commission has spoken with States Governments on how to help them start a living.

“Bank of Industry has their contacts and will be talking with them to come for soft loans. And as they settle in, we are going to profile them by doing a needs assessment so that they can be trained to do what they want to do,” Dabiri noted.

Mrs Dabiri-Erewa who praised Nigerians for showing love and concern to one another at this time, urged more corporate bodies and individuals to come to the aid of the returnees in whatever form they can help.

“We appeal to other corporate bodies who, help these returnees,” she solicited.

Mrs Dabiri-Erewa spoke on the issue of compensation: “On the issue of compensation and whatever policy Nigeria would take, that has to be addressed by the Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs,” she said.

The NIDCOM Chairman also disclosed that the first batch that arrived were certified to be free from any form of criminal activities.

“I am going to stress one thing. Those who returned are not criminals. In fact, they are hardworking Nigerians and they have lost everything they ever worked for in South Africa. Their only crime is being black and being Nigerian,” she emphasised.

The documentation of the 187 first batch of returnees shows that Ogun State has the largest number with 30, followed by Imo 28 and Oyo 23, while Kogi and Benue States have the least with 1 returnee each.

Mrs Dabiri-Erewa said that 319 Nigerians have registered to return home and are expected on Tuesday, 17th September.

Omolayo.A