The Federal Government of Nigeria has promised that it will not abandon South African returnees to their plight as all efforts are on to continue the rehabilitation and empowerment programmes.
Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian in Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, made this declaration while receiving a South African widow returnee, Mrs. Yinka Iyoha in her office in Abuja.
Dabiri-Erewa maintained that the federal government will not abandon all Nigerians brought back to the country as a result of xenophobic attacks.
Dabiri-Erewa equally announced a scholarship to one of the children of the returnee, gesture from Nigerians in Diaspora Commission.
She said that the Federal Government is kick starting an entrepreneurship programme for the returnees in collaboration with Small and Medium scale Enterprises Development Agencies (SMEDAN) and National Directorate of Employment (NDE).
She mentioned that the returnees will be trained on various skill acquisitions and certified, mentored and funded by the Central Bank of Nigeria. In addition, funds from N1 million to N10 million naira will be released for the programme.
She also appealed to other state governments to liaise with the returnees in their respective states and key in into the rehabilitation and reintegration schemes.
“We can only hope to work for peace and unity among Africans as the Nigerian mission had a programme in Johannesburg, South Africa entitled UNITE AFRICA, geared towards eradicating xenophobia in South Africa.”
While encouraging African countries to unite in love, she said that Nigerians in South Africa are working with their counterparts to ensure this, while those who commit crimes will face the penalty.
Iyoha while speaking said that she had a terrible experience in South Africa during the xenophobic attacks.
“There no place like home and I am very happy to be back home, what we experienced in South Africa we cannot describe it, it was like living in the wilderness”, she said.
Iyoha, who lost her husband in 2010 in South Africa and has been with the burden of raising her four children alone, complained of her business being crumbled by South African hostile trade policies.
“It was very tough for me as I lost over 20 million worth of goods due to the South African Customs seizing imported goods from Nigeria.”