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It’s challenging to live in South Africa, stay home, Nigerian citizens say


The National President of Nigeria Citizens Association South Africa, Benjamin Okoli has asked Nigerians trying to leave the country to stay back and make life better for themselves.

Okoli, in an exclusive interview with our correspondent, said there are no roses anywhere and living in South Africa was no exception.

Documenting some of the challenges faced by Nigerians in the country, he said documentation is an uphill task due to the bureaucracy involved.

He said:

“I will say to Nigerians who are living in Nigeria to try to consolidate their position in Nigeria and make life better for themselves. Over here in South Africa, it is quite challenging, difficult and not as it used to be in the past. There is no buttered bread here and you have to work it.

“The only challenges Nigerians are facing is regularisation of their documents which is very difficult. Most Nigerians are finding it very difficult to regularise their permit and that is because of the difficulty they face in getting that done. We consider the authorities responsible for it who act as bottlenecks.

“We do not see any reason why people who have been here for a long time find it difficult to be regularised even after they create efforts to get it done.”

Recounting the xenophobic attacks suffered by Nigerians, Okoli said it was a difficult period for Nigerians which displaced and traumatised them.

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He said:

“We had too much on our table at that time. We thank God we were able to coordinate and Air Peace came on board and everything was history.

“I can tell you that so many people could not build from the ashes. Some Nigerians have passed from a stage you can call despondency to even worse than that.”

Okoli, however, observed that there has been no immediate challenge to Nigerians security for the time being. He added that NICASA and the Consular General have been on ground to better the lives of Nigerians in South Africa.

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