Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa on Wednesday revealed that South African government frustrated the return of Nigerians billed to leave that country Wednesday (today).
She said the return of Nigerians trapped in xenophobic attacks in South Africa was delayed for over five hours on account of Immigration hurdles posed by South African government.
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.
According to her, South African authorities 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 also stated that the 317 Nigerians were getting ready to board the aircraft at about 12.40 pm.
Dabiri-Erewa also added that the federal government will carry out profiling of the returnees upon their arrival 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 government has mobilised the Bank of Industry to work out several skills acquisition and other social intervention programmes for returnees who are interested.