The Federal government has revealed that about 817 Nigerians are waiting to be evacuated from South Africa as of Tuesday September 17.
Though the Federal Government said 604 Nigerians registered for evacuation last week, the Consul-General of the Nigerian High Commission in South Africa, Godwin Adama disclosed that the number of those who had registered for evacuation increased to 1,004 out of which 187 have already been evacuated.
Also making a complaint of some individuals who registered for evacuation failing to show up, the Consul-General told Punch that they are addressing the technical issues and other challenges that are discouraging such people. He further revealed that about five coaches were being filled with people for the trip to the airport, including many children.
He said, “We have been working since 6am when I got here (consulate). I have not sat down. We have 320 coming back tomorrow(Wednesday).Some people who are supposed to be on the flight, when you call their names, they are not here. We have registered 1,004 persons. When these ones go, we will still have people on the ground.”
He noted, “Right now, we have five coaches here which we are loading. There are so many children. Those who don’t have current valid passport have been issued emergency travel certificates and we have ensured that their documentation is correct so that we won’t have the challenges we had the other time.
“We are also working with the host authorities – immigration and protocol – so that by tomorrow (Wednesday) things can be seamless.”
Adama also disclosed that the Nigerian High Commission was in touch with only 25 Nigerians among others held in various detention facilities across South Africa.
“We are ready to take those who are in detention camps, but we don’t have space right now because they (South Africa) didn’t finalise the process. If we have the opportunity, next time, we would take them.
“I would not know the exact number now because we have not visited all the detention centres. We are in touch with 25 but they are far more than that in different centres,” the CG explained.
The Consul-General concluded by stating that the Nigerians affected by cancellation of visa during the first evacuation, already told him that they had no plan of returning to South Africa.