The federal government through the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) has disclosed that another 400 Nigerians in South Africa have indicated interest in returning home.
The commission’s spokesman, Abdulrahman Balogun made this disclosure when he led 32 Nigerian returnees of Oyo state origin to the state governor’s office, Ibadan, on Wednesday, October 2.
He, however, noted that the decision of those Nigerians to return home or stay back may be influenced by the outcome of the scheduled meeting between the Nigerian government and the South African authorities.
President Muhammadu Buhari is currently in South Africa to hold several meetings with his South African counterpart, Cyril Ramphosa, on the recurrent xenophobic attacks on other Africans in the country.
“As of last night, over 400 Nigerians have equally indicated their interest to return home. We normally profile them at our embassy in South Africa to know those who voluntarily want to come back and 400 of them have indicated interest in coming back.
“The president travels to South Africa today (Wednesday) so the talks between Nigeria and South Africa will determine whether those Nigerians will return or not. Some of them may still change their minds. They may think that things have become normal and stay back..
“If after the discussion, South Africa is ready to make some concession, those Nigerians may decide to stay back.”
He also noted that Nigerians also faced life-threatening situations in Saudi Arabia and some other Asian countries.
He cautioned Nigerians keen on leaving the country that the land abroad may not be greener as envisaged.
“The commission usually tells those who travel out to be good representatives of the country. As we are having this batch, we have similar issues in Asia, Saudi Arabia in which we have a sizeable number of people from this state.
“We usually counsel our young people that there is nothing green in those places people are going to. You are better off here.
“With little assistance, you can do well rather than go somewhere and be killed, attacked and cannot move or do business freely.”
Meanwhile, the Chief Executive Officer of Air Peace Airline, Mr. Allen Onyeama, has explained why the company is offering free service in the evacuation of Nigerians in the wake of xenophobic attacks in South Africa.
Onyema told Channels Television in an interview on Tuesday, September 17 that there was no personal motive in extending a helping hand as the gesture was only for the good of the Nigerian people.
“The motivation here is the fact that I want to see Nigeria respected as a nation. It is unfortunate that a lot of people didn’t know who Allen Onyeama is; it’s not the first time I’ve been doing things like that,” he said.