Mr. Chika Emehelu, a 36-year-old Nigerian businessman in South Africa, yesterday appealed to the federal government to persuade the South African government to pay him compensation for the losses he incurred during the wave of xenophobic attacks in the country in 2013.
Emehelu, a native of Udi in Enugu State, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Johannesburg that he lost more than R800,000 (N12 million) in the May 2013 xenophobic attacks in that country.
The businessman, who is married to a South African and has three children, said his three shops at Portnolloth, a community in Northern Cape Province of South Africa, were looted during the attack.
Emehelu also said local authorities in the province came and took an inventory of the items stolen and destroyed, promising to pay him compensation.
He however said nothing had been done since then, adding that his family members were going through hard times.
Emehelu also said he had submitted all relevant documents to the South African authorities after the incident, adding that he was running a duly registered business outfit.
He also said officers from the Nigerian Mission in South Africa had visited his shops to take inventory.
Emehelu appealed to the federal government to remind the South African government to pay compensation to Nigerians who suffered losses during the xenophobic attacks.
“As I speak, I lost everything to the mob attack and I need government’s assistance to revive my business,” he said.
Mr. Ikechukwu Anyene, President of Nigeria Union in South Africa, said the body had compiled a list of Nigerians affected in the attacks and submitted it to the federal government through Nigeria’s consul general in the country.