Xenophobia: Government to set up warning system for Nigerians and South Africans

Foreign Affairs Minister Geoffrey Onyeama says Nigeria and South Africa have set up a 24-hour early warning system to protect Nigerians from Xenophobia attacks.

Onyeama said at the News Agency of Nigeria Forum in Abuja that Federal Government was ready to intervene.

He said, “Wherever any Nigerian is threatened or in difficulty, we will always intervene quickly, an example of this was in Italy, you will recall last year or the year before there was a Nigerian who was attacked and killed.

“We quickly engaged with Italian Government and really took all the necessary steps, arresting people and pay compensation to the family. So we will always engage to protect Nigeria lives wherever they may be.

“We are hoping now to set up a 24-hour call centre so that Nigerians anywhere in the world can call a particular number whenever they are in distress.”

The minister said that the Nigerian High Commission in South Africa had been directed to facilitate legal support to help the victims of recent xenophobic attacks in the country to get their compensations.

He said the victims of the attacks had been advised to make inventory of their losses through a mechanism that had been created, known as the early warning unit.

“What we have done is that we visited the scenes of these attacks; we spoke to victims, we saw their businesses and we advised them to make an inventory of their losses.

“And, that the mechanism we have created, the early warning unit, what will then happened is that they should submit all their claims through the Nigerian High Commission to be presented at a high level meeting to push the issue of compensation.

“First of all we have to see what the insurance laws provide and really take it from there; the important thing is that this should be addressed.

“We also asked the high commission to facilitate with legal support, to identifying lawyers and all that to help in the process.”

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