Air peace conveying Nigerians has finally departed Johannesburg, South Africa.
The six- hour flight is expected to land at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport at about 11.15 pm.
The flight took off at about 2.30pm with 178 Nigerians on board.
The flight, which was earlier scheduled for 9am suffered some hitches, leading to the late take off.
Prince Ben Okoli, President of Nigerian Citizen Association, South Africa, confirmed departure of the flight to our correspondent.
He said: “The flight just left about 20 minutes ago.”
He explained that the delay was as a result of immigration matters.
Nigeria Consul General in Johannesburg, Godwin Adama had assured Nigerians on Tuesday that the evacuation of Nigerians from South Africa will be hitch free.
Adama noted that the mission in South Africa has put in place measures to ease evacuation of the willing Nigerians.
He also noted that proper documentation has been carried out and the mission is ready for the evacuation exercise.
The envoy said that mission had also put necessary checks in place to ensure that other nationals do not take the advantage of the free flight by Air Peace to come into Nigeria.
Chairman of Air Peace, Mr Allen Onyema, had last week volunteered to send aircraft to evacuate Nigerians who wish to return home free of charge.
“Air Peace is willing to support the Nigerian Government’s efforts in this matter by deploying our B777 aircraft to evacuate Nigerians back home,” Onyema said.
The Chairman of the Air Peace had also warned the returnees not to pay any money as the exercise was free of charge.
The Consul General said that the two missions in Pretoria and Johannesburg were working assiduously to ensure itch free flight for the returnees.
Adama said: “We are documenting people through filling of relevant form with information such as place of birth, state of origin, local government areas.
“We also check nationality and discourage wives with different nationalities to avoid bringing in other nationals. We equally discourage those wanting to take advantage of the flight.
“The two Missions are working together to make a success of the repatriation exercise.
“Nigerians will be conveyed in buses from the two missions to the airport at early hours of the morning on Wednesday to ensure smooth operations,” he said.