Official: Nigerian working with UAE to assist stranded nationals

Official: Nigerian working with UAE to assist stranded nationals
The Nigerian government announced on Sunday that it is collaborating with officials in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to assist Nigerians who have become stranded in Dubai.

A viral video recently went popular on social media, with ladies claiming to be Nigerians pleading with the government to help them and accusing the Nigerian embassy in Dubai of being indifferent in their predicament.

Following the release of the video, Francisca Omayuli, speaking on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, stated in a press release that the Nigerian Mission has been working hard to compile the details of the stranded Nigerians in order to issue Emergency Travel Certificates (ETC) to those who lack identification.

She called the allegation against the mission "completely untrue and misleading," saying that the Nigerian embassy has been assisting over 300 Nigerians detained at the Al Aweer Immigration Office's holding centre. This is subject to the relevant authorities reviewing their cases and concluding the legal formalities before repatriation.

They are detained for a variety of reasons, including overstay, lost passports, a lack of documents, particularly in the case of newborns, and outstanding cases with the Emirati Police, among others.

Mrs. Omayuli stated that the UAE authorities will process immigration papers for people who have overstayed their visas and are obligated by law to pay fines. Some of the impacted Nigerians have been fined in excess of $10,000 per individual.

However, the UAE government is willing to waive the fines for those who are unable to pay, but with the attendant penalty of 10 years ban from the UAE.

“Those in police custody for other alleged offenses must be cleared, while those without documentation or means of identification, especially infants will go through legal procedures for rectification,” she said.

Mrs Omayuli stated that affected Nigerians cannot be repatriated until the UAE authorities complete the proceedings.

In the same spirit, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, the chairperson of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, stated that the Nigerian Consulate in Dubai has begun profiling some of the stranded Nigerians.

According to her, after the profiling process is completed, the consulate and Embassy will brief the Minister of Foreign Affairs on the following steps.

Mrs Dabiri-Erewa urged Nigerians to be law-abiding citizens wherever they go and to prevent illegal migration, adding that if they must travel, they should do so through the proper channels.

Nigerians in Dubai have been in the news for many reasons, most of which are for bad conduct including cyber crime, cult clashes, drug peddling, among others.
Chima Ugo is a patriotic Nigerian, a journalist, blogger and singer who is so much interested in the internet, journalism, and blogging and have been for half a decade.