Lagos State governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Wednesday doled out a sum of N6.3m to the 315 Nigerians who returned South Africa yesterday.
Breakdown of the sum showed that the governor supported each of the returnees with N20,000 for them to be able to reconnect with their families and relatives easily.
Governor Sanwo-Olu, represented by his Special Senior Assistant (SSA) on Diaspora, Mr Jermaine Sanwo-Olu, said aside from the donation, all Lagos citizens among the returnees would be engaged for employment through the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) to acquire skills and start-up businesses.
According to him, the state government felt the returnees needed all the support to able to take off, saying this was why the state government decided to help them to navigate on arrival.
Chairman, Diaspora Commission, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, who spoke earlier, stated that the Federal Government had concluded plans to rally state governors to assist the returnees in reintegrating them better into the society.
“The good thing is that they are back home to where they can get the best care,” she said, adding that the Bank Of Industry (BOI) would be giving them soft loans aside from the N20,000 cash they would be receiving from the Lagos State government.
Besides, Abike-Dabiri hinted that the children of the returnees would be offered scholarship to assist them to have better education.
“Going forward, we have decided to rally the state governments to support them. And that is why we have started profiling them according to their state.
“And during the first batch, we had about 30 from Ogun State. And 28 from Imo state. After about two weeks, we will get back to them as follow up,” she said.
Mr Chukwuekwu Okom, a returnee, said he went to South Africa about six years ago and was never gainfully employed.
According to him, he engaged menial jobs in order to pay rent and survive, claiming that South Africans were not willing to give foreigners job, adding that he had no specific to fall back on.
Another returnee, Udom Michael, recounted his experience, describing it as terrible, saying such accounted for why he was happy to be back home.