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Xenophobia: Air Peace aircraft to airlift 317 Nigerians delayed by South African authorities – Abike Dabiri Erewa

The return of Nigerians trapped in xenophobic attacks in South Africa has been delayed for over five hours on account of Immigration hurdles posed by South African government, Chairman Nigerian Diaspora Commission, Mrs. Abike Dabiri –Erewa , has disclosed.

Speaking in an interview at the cargo wing of the Lagos International airport, she said the Air Peace aircraft detailed to airlift 317 passengers on the manifest of the inaugural flight was delayed on the ground by South African authorities.

The South African authorities, she disclosed, brought new immigration rules before the affected Nigerians could be allowed to board the aircraft.

She said the 2.00 pm scheduled time for the aircraft to arrive Lagos was no longer tenable due to logistic and other diplomatic hurdles posed by South African government.

She stated the 317 Nigerians were getting ready to board the aircraft about 12.40 pm.

On arrival, she said the federal government will carry out profiling of the returnees and keep an open line of communication with them for about two months for reintegration.

She said some stipends in the form of transport fare will be given to them to get to their respective states of origin.

Mrs. Dabiri- Erewa said the government has mobilised the Bank of Industry to work out several skills acquisition and other social intervention programmes for returnees who are interested.

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