According to her, the returnees are being profiled based on their states. She adds that the state governments will take responsibility of their citizens and that the highest number of returnees so far are from Ogun State with 30 returnees.
She also stated that none of the returnees are criminals and that there are ongoing conversations with the Bank of Industry as regards soft loans.
On the issue of compensation for victims, the NIDCOM chairperson said that would be handled by the ministry of foreign affairs, adding that Nigerians interested in helping the returnees should do so.
The Chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Hon Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has given an assurance that the government would support Nigerians who are being evacuated back to the country from South Africa in the wake of xenophobic attacks.
A first batch of returnees numbering about 188, had departed South Africa on Wednesday, via the Air Peace Airline after an eight-hour delay.
According to Channels TV’s correspondent in South Africa, some persons had been turned back over inadequate documentation for travelling with children, while about seven others were detained for allegedly entering the country illegally.
Mrs Dabiri who also confirmed that the delay was as a result of immigration issues, however, noted that the situation had been resolved and the first batch was on their way.
According to her, immediately they arrive, they would each be given sim cards and airtime that would last almost two months to help them stay in touch with their families.
“The bank of industry will also be here to offer some entrepreneurship programme and some support to start a small business and there would be some stipends for transportation to take you home and we will profile them and for those who want to get any training, they will decide what kind of training they want to do and the Bank of industry will be there to provide it,” Dabiri said.
More names remain on the voluntary evacuation list and hopefully, a second flight will be arriving in Johannesburg to fetch them.
The recent xenophobic attack on foreigners, particularly Nigerians have continued to generate reactions in the country.
This time, the Chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa and a Professor of International Law and Jurisprudence, Professor Akin Oyebode, have both faulted the South African government over the issue.
Both individuals were interviewed as guests on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Monday.
Giving an update on the development, Dabiri-Erewa, said the South African government has arraigned eight policemen for the maltreatment of Nigerians in the country.
“Eight policemen have been charged to court by South Africa. They have been charged for cases involving the maltreatment of Nigerians in South Africa that have been on for a long time. But the cases have not yet ended.
“We are hoping those cases will end. There have to be consequences for actions. Four policemen have been arrested in connection with the last death of the gentleman that was killed in his home,” she said.
Speaking further, she called on the South African government to conclude the investigation into the harassment and death of Nigerians and also make the findings public.
The presidential aide also wants the immediate end to the killings of Nigerians in South Africa, thereby calling on the President Cyril Ramaphosa administration to exhibit the political will to tackle the scourge.
Reacting also, Oyebode noted that the President Ramaphosa ought to have sent a delegation to apologise to Nigeria having been affected by the killings.
“I believe the Buhari government is trying to be very diplomatic even though we are the aggrieved party. Quite a number of my friends have said that Nigeria should not give the impression that it was begging South Africa for consideration because we are the injured party.
“It is South Africa that ought to send their delegation here to appeal to Nigerians not to visit mayhem on the South Africans of their interests,” he said.
The Chairperson of the Nigerian Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has revealed plans by the Nigerian Government to fight cybercrimes in the diaspora.
She hinted that the commission was making moves to collaborate with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to tackle the menace, through the creation of a special desk.
Dabiri-Erewa explained that the desk would serve as a platform for Nigerians in the diaspora who are victims of cybercrime to lodge complaints and get justice.
She made the disclosure on Friday during a visit to the EFCC Head Office in Abuja, following the indictment of over 70 Nigerians by the United States government for various crimes including massive email fraud and money laundering.
The NIDCOM boss said, “The commission will be working with the EFCC to have a special desk that will tackle cases like this; whether it’s about fraud, whether it’s about somebody cheating yo, we hope to partner with the EFCC to have a special desk to deal with cases involving those in the diaspora being defrauded or being cheated.
“They should have somewhere to complain to and with EFCC, I’m sure we can provide those answers and solve those problems.”
Dabiri-Erewa who condemned the activities of those indicted by the U.S. government, added, “A few people committing crime should not tarnish the image of a nation of 200 million people. However, the world wants to see that we are doing something about cybercrime.
“We are here with the EFCC to say Nigerians in the diaspora count on you to tackle cybercrime as effectively as you are tackling corruption in Nigeria so that those who perpetrate these crimes are brought to book.”
On his part, the acting EFCC Chairman, Mr Ibrahim Magu, said the anti-graft agency would take drastic measures to prevent Nigerians from engaging in cybercrimes to save the nation’s image from international embarrassment.
He also gave an insight into how the EFCC contributed to the arrest of 77 Nigerians by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
According to Magu, the operation that led to the arrest of the suspects was jointly carried out by the operatives of both agencies.
“We have not been contacted, but they have acknowledged our participation in their release. But I do not have the details here … because what we have here is even more than the 77 people.
“Maybe others have been screened out and the information they have given us is everything that has been done – both here and in America,” the EFCC boss said.
The Consular-General of Nigerian High Commission in South Africa, Mr Godwin Adama, has petitioned the SA Police Authorities over the attack on a Nigerian, Mr Tayo Faniran.
Mr Faniran, Ex-Big Brother Africa Star, in a video posted on his Instagram handle, was seen beaten by two South African policemen.
The Nigerian mission, who is pressing for a case against the police brutality, said the independent police investigative directorate which deals with cases involving South Africa police officers has commenced work on the matter.
The Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa said in a statement on Saturday, that the move is to get justice for Mr Faniran.
She said the Consular-General has also met with Mr Faniran who is the latest victim of brutality on Nigerians by the South Africa policemen.
“Our Consular-General has also met with Faniran, who was the latest victim of South Africa policemen’s attack on Nigerians.”
Mrs Dabiri-Erewa also confirmed that eight South African policemen are already on trial for their involvement in maltreatment of Nigerians in the country, and promised to follow up on this case and others involving attacks against Nigerians in South Africa.
“Eight South African policemen are on trial for their involvement in maltreatment of Nigerians in the country. We will continue to follow up on this case and others involving attacks against Nigerians in South Africa.”
Chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has called for an investigation into the death of a Nigerian student who was in custody in Malaysia.
According to a statement issued by Dabiri on Friday, Orhions Ewansiha Thomas, who was pursuing a Ph.D. in management, at the Limkokwing University of Creative Technology in Selangor, Malaysia died while in custody.
Despite having a valid student pass, he was said to have been detained for 14 days, during which he allegedly suffered a seizure after which he died.
“Ewansiha had a valid student pass, but he was still detained for 14 days by the Malaysian authorities until he suffered a seizure while in custody,” the statement read.
“My heart goes out to his family, his young widow and two who’ve suffered such a painful loss.
“I urge the Nigerian High Commission in Kuala Lumpur, to open an investigation into the death of Ewansiha.
“We must ensure that the welfare of our countrymen in Malaysia is not compromised”.
The university also confirmed the death, describing Ewansiha as an inspired young man.
It, however, did not explain the circumstances of his death.
“It is with the deepest regret that we report the demise of Orhions Ewansiha Thomas. Pursuing his Ph.D. in Management, Mr. Thomas was an inspired young man. All of us at Limkokwing University wish to express our heartfelt wishes of love and support to all affected,” the university tweeted.
It is with the deepest regret that we report the demise of Orhions Ewansiha Thomas. Pursuing his PhD in Management, Mr Thomas was an inspired young man. All of us at Limkokwing University wish to express our heartfelt wishes of love and support to all affected. pic.twitter.com/NlheAJu8hy
Honourable Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), has warned intending Muslim pilgrims from Nigeria, not to carry hard drugs to Saudi Arabia, noting that the act attracts a death penalty.
Speaking when the inaugural flight of intending Muslim pilgrims to 2019 Hajj exercise in Saudi Arabia commenced on Wednesday, Hon Dabiri-Erewa asked the pilgrims to resist any temptation to take hard drugs, stressing that despite repeated warnings and workshops for intending pilgrims, it is disheartening that some Nigerians still ran foul of Saudi Arabia authorities’ law.
She recalled that some Nigerians caught with hard drugs in the last few years are still currently on death row in Saudi Arabia, pleading with pilgrims to shun the shameful act.
Dabiri-Erewa also reminded the pilgrims that kolanuts and prescription painkillers in large quantities have been banned in Saudi Arabia, and if found, attracts severe penalties according to new Saudi Arabia regulations.
She said the Federal government through the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) and various state boards have made adequate arrangements to attend to the medical needs of the pilgrims in Saudi Arabia.
Similarly, she said the Saudi authorities have free medical centres in all the nooks and crannies of the Kingdom equipped with all drugs for their medical needs.
She urged the security agencies and other para-military stationed at the various departure centres in Nigeria to screen the pilgrims before their departure to Saudi Arabia.
Dabiri-Erewa advised Nigerian pilgrims to be good ambassadors of the country by portraying Nigeria in good image and pray for peace, unity, and progress of the country in the Holy land.
NAHCON had announced that its inaugural flight of Nigerian pilgrims to 2019 Hajj exercise commenced on Wednesday, July 10 with intending pilgrims from Katsina and Lagos states.
The first batch of NAHCON advanced team comprising 39 members of staff for Hajj operations left already for Saudi Arabia since last Friday with another 15-man National Medical Advance Team led by Dr. Ibrahim Kana also departed for Saudi Arabia.
Over 65,000 Nigerians excluding the private operators are slated to perform 2019 Hajj exercise in Saudi Arabia.
It will be recalled that the Saudi Arabian authorities have asked Nigerian pilgrims alongside others not to bring prohibited drugs, foods and items to the country.
“All those who intend to perform Hajj are therefore advised to adhere strictly to the Saudi rules and regulations on prohibited items,” NIDCOM said in a statement.
The Chairman of the Nigerian Diaspora Commission, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa has condemned the attack on Nigerians in Kumasi, Ghana, describing it as a xenophobic attack.
Speaking at a meeting with the Consular-General of the Ghanaian high commissioner in Nigeria, Dabiri-Erewa called for the protection of the rights of Nigerians in the country.
“We need your assurances from Nigerian traders particularly in Ghana of their protection. We are here to appeal to you to protect Nigerians in Ghana, especially the traders, and to ensure that such an incident will not happen anymore,” he said.
The presidential aide, however, commended the Ghanaian government for the prompt response through the intervention of the country’s police chief.
Speaking on investments, Dabiri-Erewa noted that Nigerians have contributed immensely to the growth and development of Ghana’s economy.
“We have a lot of investments in Ghana in education, banking, real estate and all that, that is helping the Ghanaian economy.
“So we are here to complain about what happened yesterday and to ensure that it doesn’t happen again so that Nigerians living legally in Ghana will be protected,” she said.
On his part, the Consular-General, James Nyasembi, said some persons have been arrested and will soon be charged to court.
According to him, the Ghanaian authorities will ensure that the rights of all Nigerians living in their country is protected.
“The President of Ghana has directed the Inspector General of Police, the Minister for National Security and all the security agencies to be on top of the issue.
“As we speak now, the shops have been reopened. The Nigerians who are operating their shops in Kumasi have been assured of their security, they have been asked to go back to their duties without fear of being molested or harassed by any person in the region.
“Some Ghanaians who have been involved in this act have been arrested and they have been placed before the court because it is a matter that the President of Ghana will not allow to happen to dampen the spate of excellent relations that exist between Ghana and Nigeria,” he said.
The Chairman of the Nigeria Diaspora Commission (NDC), Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has spoken about the activities of drug cartels, who smuggle drugs into the luggage of unsuspecting passengers.
Dabiri-Erewa, who appeared before the Senate ad hoc committee set up in connection with the case of Zainab Aliyu, a Nigerian student, and others said cases investigated involved either Ethiopian Airlines or Egypt Air.
She also decried the level of security in Nigerian airports and expressed worry over alleged non-functionality of scanners at airports.
Dabiri-Erewa, who is also the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, advised airline operators to ensure compulsory baggage identification.
“We are talking about scanners and customs. The question is, are the scanners at our airport working? There is virtually no security surveillance at our airports.
“In moving forward, we just have to forget about blame-game but work to ensure that we have proper security surveillance at our airports.
“Secondly, Zainab and Ibrahim’s case was an inside job. There were people in there that were experts in doing this to other people’s bags. So, where are they and who are they?
“I’m sorry to say, in all cases we’ve investigated; only two airlines have been involved, Ethiopian airline and Egypt air. All the cases, I didn’t say some. It’s been Ethiopia Air and Egypt Air.
“So, those two airlines, we have to, first of all, ensure compulsory baggage identification. Everybody going on that route, you must ensure that every passenger identifies their bags. If they don’t do that, don’t carry those bags. Because there are cartels inside there working on those things,” she said.