The Federal Government on Saturday warned Nigerians who have no proper documentation to stay away from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as the authorities in the country have intensified a massive crackdown on irregular migrants into the country.
This warning was issued at the weekend by Mr. Gabriel Odu of the Media, Public Relations and Protocol unit of the Nigerians in the Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM)stressing that about 800 undocumented Nigerians have been arrested in the Kingdom for various offences.
Part of the statement from NIDCOM read “The attention of the Management of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) has been drawn to a communication from the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabian authorities intensifying crackdown on undocumented foreigners in their Country.
“The Letter stated that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia between October and December, 2022, intensified joint operations across the Country targeted at ridding the Kingdom of undocumented irregular migrants.
“In the Communication to the Federal Government of Nigeria, the Saudi Arabian government noted that about Forty Five Thousand, Four Hundred and Fifty Eight (45,458) foreigners ranging from violation of residency rules, illegal border crossing attempts and irregular migrants for labour-related offences are in the country.
“The Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, (NIDCOM), therefore, urges Nigerians travelling to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia without proper documentation not to do so as Saudi authorities have heightened a clamp down on irregular migrants.
“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has about Eight Hundred (800) Nigerians arrested and detained for various offences particularly Consular issues since the clamp down began in October, 2022. Though the Nigerian Embassy in Saudi is intervening in this matter, NIDCOM urges Nigerians to resist breaking the laws of other countries.”
The statement also said that President Muhammadu Buhari has appealed to the United Arab Emirates(UAE) President, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to lift the suspension of the blanket visa ban on Nigerians travelling to the UAE.
Recall that UAE visa ban came as a result of issues associated with alleged criminality and illegalities of some Nigerians living in Dubai.
The Commission has therefore appealed to Nigerian citizens that if they must travel, they should travel with proper documentation and legitimately too.