Nigerian govt laments mass recruitment of citizens to Middle-East countries


Director-General of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, Ms Julie Okah-Donli, has bemoaned the mass recruitment of Nigerians to Saudi Arabia and other Middle East countries.

This was even as the NAPTIP Director-General said the agency has convicted a total number of 341 persons since inception.

Speaking during a familiarisation tour of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Okah-Donli who was received by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, said the NAPTIP delegation was at the ministry to fine-tune ways of working with the ministry more from inside.

She said there was need for greater collaboration between NAPTIP and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the embassies.

Okah-Donli recalled a distress call she received from a Nigerian victim in Saudi Arabia who ran to the Nigerian Embassy and did not receive the necessary assistance.

She said the same situation exists in some other Nigerian embassies, saying that, “virtually all the embassies react the same way.”

“The new dimension now which is giving all of us serious headache, is this mass recruitment to Saudi Arabia, Oman, Dubai, Egypt and so on, by agents under the guise of providing employment as in house-helps and nurses to the Saudi Arabian nationals.

“And of course, you and I know that there is a lot of sexual exploitation going on because most of the times, even for those who are actually doing house work, they are always sexually abused by the masters of the house. And there is a lot of organ harvesting also going on in countries like that.

“So, we fear that most of these people that are really unaccounted for may never return back alive and there is need Sir, to do something very seriously about this trend,” Okah-Donli said.

The NAPTIP Director-General further raised the alarm over cases of recruitment of very young boy and girl by so called sports agents, taking them to various countries, saying “of course, their organs are being harvested.”

Responding, Onyeama said the analysis of the situation brought out very clearly, how grave the situation is.

Onyeama also said one area that is of challenge is the division between regular migrants and trafficked persons.

He added that another area that needed to be looked into clearly, is the labour contracts and arrangement.

“So, we would have to look at, probably with the Ministry of Labour involved as well to, at the mechanism,” Onyeama said.


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