More than 300 Nigerians arrived in the country’s commercial capital, Lagos on Wednesday, having been evacuated from South Africa, following the recent wave of xenophobic attacks.
Local media reported that an Air Peace plane with 315 Nigerians aboard landed at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport on Wednesday night. This is the second batch of returnees, following last week’s 187.
The Lagos state government reportedly gave $55 to each returnee, with a pledge that they would be transferred to the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund, where they can be equipped with different skills.
Nigeria’s government has urged its citizens who are stranded in South Africa to return home, as the latter cracks down on immigrants without proper documentation.
South Africa apologises
Nigeria’s president on Monday thanked his South African counterpart for sending a special envoy to apologise over the recent xenophobic attacks.
The special envoy, Jeff Radebe told president Muhammadu Buhari that the attacks on foreigners do not represent South Africa’s “value system, nor those of the larger number of South Africans”.
Radebe regretted the loss of life during the attacks in which 8 South Africans and 2 Zimbabweans were killed, adding that his country is committed to peace and integration of the continent.
Over the weekend, president Cyril Ramaphosa announced that he would send high-ranking emissaries to reassure different African countries following the xenophobic attacks, in which their nationals were targeted.