No fewer than 319 returnees are expected back in Nigeria from South Africa on Wednesday evening.

This will be the second batch of willing Nigerians airlifted from the country free of charge amid tensions over xenophobic attacks on foreigners in South Africa.

An official of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kimiebi Ebenfa, confirmed to newsmen that the plane operated by Air Peace departed O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg at about 2:58 pm on Wednesday.

It is expected to touch down at Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos before 7 pm.

They had been billed to depart South Africa on Tuesday, according to the chairman of Air Peace, Allen Onyema.

Some 187 Nigerians had arrived from South Africa last Wednesday.

Nigeria’s Consul General in Johannesburg, Godwin Adama, revealed that the number of registered Nigerians had risen to 1,004, adding that the technical issues faced during the first evacuation were being addressed.

Mr Onyema appeared before the House of Representatives on Wednesday to brief the lawmakers on his efforts at bringing back Nigerians who are willing to leave South Africa.

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