Federal government will begin evacuation of Nigerians in South Africa following xenophobic attacks on foreigners in south Africa.
Nigeria nationals were attacked and so also lost their businesses to the attack.
The Nigerian Union South Africa on Tuesday has said though calm had been restored after a series of xenophobic attacks against foreign nationals in South Africa.
The Nigerian nationals were not also left out in the attacks. They(Nigerians) and their businesses were attacked by south Africans.
According to the President of NUSA, Adetola Olubajo said that several foreign owned businesses had remained closed for fear of resurgent attacks by South Africans.
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Olubajo said, “The environment is calm but the atmosphere is still tense because the people that are fighting and looting always go on sporadic attacks; so people are very careful.
“South African businesses have opened but not all of the foreign-owned businesses have opened because there are some foreign nationals that are displaced and are in the city centre in Johannesburg.
“Most of their businesses have been looted and burnt so they need to start rebuilding.”
He noted that the High Commission and consulate had given a figure of about 640 people who were scheduled to return, adding that the first batch of about 320 people would leave today around 9am.
Olubajo said, “We believe that more people will still show interest. We want the kind of gesture that has been shown by Air Peace to be extended by other well-meaning Nigerians or aviation operators because those that are willing to leave should be given the opportunity.”
Domestic airline, Air Peace, says it is ready for the evacuation of Nigerians.
“We do not have any challenge; we have no issues for now. Our mission is to get the passengers out for free,” Air peace official said.
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According to him,he explained that the flight from Nigeria departed Lagos on Tuesday and would return on Wednesday from 2pm, adding that the entire process would end by Thursday.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of Air Peace, Allen Onyema cautioned Nigerians scheduled for repatriation from South Africa to refrain from paying $1,000 or any amount of money for their flight.
He said, “We have not designated or recruited any agent in South Africa to collect money on behalf of Air Peace. So, nobody should pay money to anyone.
“Any Nigerian who has paid money for repatriation to Nigeria with Air Peace should request for a refund and report to appropriate authorities.”