Following the Xenophobic attacks on foreigners, only 84 out of 30,000 Nigerians (30,000 according 2016 South African statistics) have been cleared and ready to return to the country from South Africa.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs gave the update to journalists on Wednesday in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
The ministry disclosed that out of 313 Nigerians confirmed form the first batch for evacuation today, 84 of them have been so far cleared and are expected to arrive the country.
Although the flight Air Peace MEN2759 was expected to leave the OR Tambo International Airport at 9am but as at 2pm local time, immigration capturing processes were still on going.
“The Air peace aircraft which was scheduled to take off at 9. a.m local time was delayed due to the fact that checking in and clearance procedures by immigration are very slow.
“There are complains of system failure and out of the 313 confirmed for first batch of evacuation today, only 84 are cleared so far.
“The more the Aircraft waits for the passengers, the higher the amount the Aircraft will pay for Parking,” the ministry stated.
Some of the evacuees also had issues of documentation, immigration records and inadequate documents to travel out of the country with children.
Many of those who are voluntarily returning to Nigeria following the xenophobic attacks in the past few weeks came out in large numbers as early as 4am outside the missions to join the buses ferrying them to the airport.
According to the ministry, 640 Nigerians have indicated the desire to return from South Africa and have registered to do so.
The ministry added that the second batch of evacuees would depart Johannesburg for Nigeria on Friday.
They will be received on arrival by senior officials of the Ministry of Affairs.