Austin Okeke Writes

“In Every Cloud There Is A Silver Lining”

MTN gave them 150 thousand Naira worth of airtime and 9000 Naira worth of data.

They are free to sell the airtime for cash, apply the proceeds of sale to petty trading, and God will bless the good work of their hands.

The Federal government of Nigeria has also announced plans to grant them soft loans with which to start Small and Medium Scale businesses, this is in addition to monetary gifts of 20,000 Naira each as pocket money. For example a family of 5 would receive 100,000 Naira etc.

The Lagos State government has also announced a gift of 20,000 Naira each.

Pastor T B Joshua announced a donation of 12 million Naira in support of the relief program.

Other Nigerians have indicated their willingness to participate in the relief program.

Many thanks to Chief Onyema of Air Peace, Captain Dotun Ogunyemi of OneDot Aviation, Pastor Suleman of Omega Ministries and others that have volunteered to provide for their flights and cargo back to Nigeria.

They are better off in Nigeria than in South Africa where they are not properly documented and their children are also affected as a result.

These children would grow up not being in the system.

Moreover, we cannot have them hanging on the streets of South Africa and engaging in criminal activities, it is better we return them to Nigeria and thereby reducing the number of Nigerians untoward conducts and obnoxiously loud on the streets of South Africa.

On the other hand, the meaning of “you can’t take the law into your hands” is now well understood by the South African government, in that they ought to have been proactive in the area of law enforcement. You cannot go to the media, throwing your arms in the air, saying that you have lost the battle against crime. Hence a failed a State.

The positive is that they are now better prepared than ever in their fight against criminality and xenophobia.

Again on positivity, black Africans living in South Africa, now more than ever, have started saying hello to one another on the streets and are being pleasantly courteous to one another in the shopping malls and in the public places.This was coldly absent before now.

I must mention here that the percentage of Nigerians that are daily adding value in South African economy largely outnumbers those involved in criminal activities. They too must be celebrated.

Should the returnees or evacuees decide to come to South Africa any time in the future, they must bring along value, not crime.

They are welcome and free to visit as tourists, in order to contribute to the overall Gross Domestic Product “GDP” of the African continent. They should also look for South African businesses to take with to Nigeria.

I am pretty sure they would have learnt a thing or two about how citizens of a country whose systems really work should conduct affairs.

They are now brave, and are in a position to speak truth to power in Nigeria, because, good or bad, Nigeria is their home and they must participate as active citizens in its growth and position development.

They are therefore not returning to Nigeria empty handed; they are taking with them good values learnt, such as maintenance culture, to say the least, which is generally lacking in Nigeria.

We need to meet the South African government halfway in its drive to rid its society of criminals and crime, no country wants crime and criminals parading and operating freely in its society.

Humanity is one, an injury to one is an injury to all.

We all need ourselves on the African continent. Every relationship is a two way traffic, hence we use the word symbiotic relationship. Mutuality is key and pertinent for the growth of the African continent.

For those that had lost their properties and investments in South Africa during the recent xenophobic attacks against Africans, they indeed need a systematic integration into the business communities in Nigeria.

They have acquired invaluable foreign business experiences to share, and to positively impact on the Nigerian business society.

The majority of them now have business relationships in South Africa, China, Europe, the Middle East and the Asian countries, they surely would leverage on those once they are incentivized by the Nigerian government, individuals and Civic Societies.

There is a lot of positives one could draw from the recent xenophobic attacks and its consequences.

I thank you.


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Austin Okeke
Austin Okeke 33 posts

Barrister Austin Okeke Writes From South Africa

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