*** Dubai tops list with 1,405 evacuees
No fewer than 6,317 Nigerians have been repatriated from 19 countries, with Dubai topping the list of evacuees with 1,405 Nigerians.
Chairman and Chief Executive officer of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), Abike Dabiri-Erewa told newsmen in Abuja that the federal government through her commission, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Nigerian Missions across the world were still evacuating more Nigerians.
According to her, with the support of Air Peace Nigeria Ltd, there has been multiple evacuations from some countries, adding that apart from Dubai with the highest number, 813 Nigerians were evacuated from the United Kingdom, while 806 Nigerians were evacuated from the United States.
Further breakdown showed India, Egypt and Sudan had 540 Nigerians, 372 and 365 Nigerians were evacuated respectively, while the rest had France, 70; Saudi Arabia, 117; Turkey, 324; Uganda and Kenya, 172; Senegal, 17; Pakistan 56; Egypt, 102; China, 268; Malaysia and Thailand 247; Lebanon, 147; Canada, 51; South Africa, 324; Ghana, 205.
“Following series of interventions to ameliorate attacks on black Africans in South Africa including Nigerians, the Commission received the first and second batches of stranded Nigerians totaling 501 back home in Lagos on Sept. 11, 2019 and Sept. 18, 2019.
“They received SIM Cards worth of N40, 000 airtime plus 9GB of data valid for two months, as well as, a soft loan from the Bank of Industry to support those interested in small trade and businesses.
She said a programme of re-integration has been put in place with the support of some NGOs and their respective states of origin which had been written by NiDCOM after the returnees had been profiled for necessary assistance.
“Currently, as COVID-19 is still on rampage, the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Nigerian Missions around the world have evacuated and still evacuating stranded Nigerians anywhere in the world.”
“Many organisations and well-meaning Nigerians have reached out to fight good causes, through kind gestures for the Nigerian diaspora especially during this Pandemic with over #50 million Naira Donations and vice versa.
“In the same stance, an anonymous woman and two-time cancer survivor donated her one-month salary, to the children of the South-African Nigerian returnees. In another case, a COVID-19 Palliative Fund is opened and still on during this COVID-19 Pandemic, for the cause.
“Also, a donation of hand sanitisers worth N5million by Nigerian citizens in China to the Federal Government, was received by the Commission. Food donations, plus, face masks done by the Nigerian in Diaspora Organisation of the Americas (NIDOA, NIDO Americas), cushion the plights of many Nigerians, who had no means of feeding and worse still, have probably lost their jobs because of the pandemic.”
“This is the 2nd National Diaspora Day Celebrations NIDCOM will be marking since NIDCOM’S establishment a year ago and the 15th Edition after its commencement in 2006.Our efforts alone, couldn’t have been feasible without the help of the Federal Government and most importantly, the Diaspora. You make it happen. I look forward to a productive celebration, although low-key and its happening virtually through a webinar, the new normal.”