Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The Lebanese Ambassador to Nigeria, Houssam Diab, thursday disclosed that the Embassy has suspended issuing working visas to Nigerians seeking for domestic work in Lebanon.
He said that the suspension started since May 1, following the video of a Nigerian lady, Peace Busari, who was auctioned by a non-Lebanese person on Social media in April this year, which went viral.
Diab explained that the suspension was to stem the tide for such categories of workers pending the time the procedure would be properly harmonised with the Ministry of Labour modalities.
The Ambassador added that the Lebanese government in conjunction with the Lebanese community in Nigeria had brought back 69 out of 79 Nigerians allegedly stranded and abused by their bosses back to the country.
Diab disclosed this when he visited the Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa in his Abuja.
The commission’s Head of Media and Public Relations, Abdur-Rahman Balogun, in a statement issued yesterday, said the Ambassador explained that the remaining 10 Nigerians, who would be transported home soon after the COVID-19 lockdown, have some cases to answer and would be repatriated home once they are through with their cases.
Diab clarified that the Embassy and the Lebanese community paid over $150,000 to evacuate the 69 Nigerians and also paid for their 14 days’ quarantine, adding that they were not trafficked nor went to Lebanon illegally but were abused by their employers who also breached the working agreement and did not have money to bring them back.
The Ambassador however said some of them did not want to come back to Nigeria despite their challenges, but preferred to change their work place to be able to pay up their agents who facilitated their coming.