BY: Victoria Ojeme
The Lebanese Government on Thursday said it has suspended issuing working visas to Nigerians seeking to work in Lebanon, particularly for domestic work.
Lebanese Ambassador to Nigeria, Amb. Houssam Diab made this known chairman/CEO of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) Abike Dabiri-Erewa paid him a courtesy call in his office in Abuja.
Amb. Diab stated that the suspension started since May 1, as a result of complaints of abuse by some employers, as well as the case of the video of Peace Busari, a Nigerian lady, auctioned for sale for $1000 on Social media in April this year, went viral.
He said the man who committed the act is not a Lebanese, but a Lebanese resident and has since been charged to court in Lebanon.
He said the suspension was to stem the tide for such categories of workers pending the time the procedure would be properly harmonized with the Ministry of Labour, in line with best practices of managed and orderly migration.
Thus far, the Ambassador said the Lebanese government in conjunction with the Lebanese community in Nigeria had brought back 69 out of 79 Nigerians allegedly stranded back to the country.
He explained that the remaining 10 Nigerians, who would be transported home soon after the Covid-19 lockdown, have some pending legal cases and would be repatriated home once they are through with their cases.
He clarified that the Embassy and the Lebanese community paid over $150,000 USD to evacuate the 69 Nigerians and also paid for their 14 days quarantine, adding that they were not in Lebanon illegally but were abused by their employers who also breached the working agreement and did not have money to bring them back.
He assured that the Lebanese government will not condone maltreatment of foreign nationals and anyone found guilty will face the necessary penalty.
Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa called on the Ambassador to ensure that whatever cases the 10 Nigerians left behind were being charged with, should be expeditiously dealt with so they can return home.
She said the Commission would work with the Ministry of Labour to have an effective and efficient t managed migration, a working scheme where verification and certification must be provided between agents, employers and prospective employees that would protect the rights of workers in any country.
The Chairman commended the Ambassador for his assistance especially in evacuating 69 Nigerians and the safe release of the Nigerian lady who was advertised for sale on social media.
Corroborating the Ambassadors disclosure about the lady who was put up for sale and safely rescued by the Nigerian mission, in Lebanon, Dabiri
Erewa confirmed that the rescued lady had secured another job in Lebanon and was not ready to return home as at now.
The highlight of the meeting includes a resolution by both the Lebanese Ambassador and the Chairman, NiDCOM, to work for effective collaboration between the Lebanese Diaspora and the Nigerian Diaspora