The first batch of Nigerians being evacuated from South Africa by the Federal Government following the ongoing xenophobic attacks are expected in the country today, Wednesday, Nigeria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said.
The Ministry disclosing this Wednesday morning via its Twitter handle, @AbujaMFA, said, “640 Nigerian nationals have been registered at the Nigerian Missions in South Africa and the first batch will be evacuated today, Wednesday, 11th September, 2019.”
Earlier on Tuesday, the spokesperson for the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), South West Zone, Mr Ibrahim Farinloye, had confirmed to NAN in Lagos, that the first batch of returnees will arrive Nigeria on Wednesday by 2:00 p.m.
Farinloye said, barring any unforeseen circumstances, the Air Peace B777 aircraft, volunteered by the airline to evacuate Nigerians, would arrive on Sept. 11 at the Cargo Wing of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos.
He explained that the aircraft would take off on Tuesday night from Lagos to South Africa to bring home the first batch of the over 600 Nigerians.
The evacuation had earlier suffered a setback as it was discovered that most of those interested in the process had expired passports.
However, the Nigerian High Commission in Pretoria and Johannesburg had prepared Travel Certificates to the affected Nigerians to facilitate their return.
President Muhammadu Buhari had also on Monday ordered the immediate evacuation of Nigerians who had indicated interest to leave South Africa after receiving report from the Special Envoy deployed to the country.
The government earlier issued travel advice to Nigerians intending to visit South Africa due to the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and other foreign nationals.
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