- as LASG plans employment scheme after giving N20,000 to each Returnee.
- NEMA officials shortchange Returnees, as FG gives N10,000.
By Moses Adeniyi
Returnees who landed in Nigeria from their evacuation from South Africa, have berated the welfare of the Federal Government (FG) of Nigeria in welcoming their return, while commending the welfare packages of the Lagos State Government.
Several of the returnees who landed at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Wednesday night in Lagos, were disappointed at the welfare package the Federal Government extended to them till now.
At the reception of the Returnees numbering 315 on Wednesday, while the FG handed over a sum of N10, 000 to them, their monetary package from the Lagos State Government was 20, 000 for each of them.
It was however gathered that some mischievous officials of the National Emergency Management Agency in charge of issuing the FG’s monetary package still went ahead in shortchanging some unsuspecting returnees, deducting from the packages entitled to them.
Investigation revealed that while some of the returnees had the complete N10, 000 in their envelope pack, some who were unlucky had a reduction in the amount they got in their packs.
A mother of three who was part of the Returnees, who feared in giving her name, mentioned that unsealing the envelope, only N5, 000 was found in the Federal Government’s pack given to her.
Another Returnee who gave his name as Mr. Ben berated the Federal Government, describing as unfortunate what they are being given by the Federal Government, questioning “why the Federal Government has been so tight handed in its disposition.
Commenting on the situation in South Africa, many of the Returnees described the condition of living over there “as tough and uneasy.”
A returnee who gave his name as Kayode Aaron said “My stay in South Africa is not so much great because in South Africa you need to work and work before you can survive. There are no jobs in South Africa.”
He added, “I came back to Nigeria because Nigeria is my Country. The next thing now is for me to relax and settle down into the system again. Xenophobia has started like 2008 and nothing as such has been done”
Another Returnee who gave his name as Chucks Okoma while accounting his ordeal in South Africa said, “What I’ve seen in South Africa is a terrible thing because the way they kill Nigerians, burning their cars, shops and properties is terrible. I thank God over my life. I stayed there almost six years doing nothing.
“Even I am staying in the street. The only thing I am doing there is buying phone to sell, but I can’t survive with that. With my six years over there, there is nothing for me to show for it, but I thank God that I came out if there alive.”
Receiving the Returnees on Wednesday, the Senior Special Assistant to the Lagos State Governor on Diaspora and Foreign Relations, Mr. Jermaine Sanwo-Olu said that apart from the sum given to them by the Governor, Lagosian Returnees would be connected with the Lagos State Employment Trust fund (LSETF) for employment opportunities.
Jermaine added further that in addition to the sum of N20,000 given to each Returnee, they would be given access to loans, grants, and provisions for skill acquisition programmes “to develop their capacity to ensure that they are properly integrated back into the system.”
He said “Lagos is the connecting city with the Diaspora and Nigeria; and as they’ve landed here, we want to make them know that they are welcome and Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu is glad with open hands to welcome them. This is governor who has opened the office of Diaspora and Foreign Relations.”