No fewer than 71 Nigerians stranded in Lebanon have been airlifted back to the country and would be placed under a 14 days compulsory isolation to prevent community transmission of coronavirus in Nigeria.
The 71 Nigerians, who arrived Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, were second batch of over 150 girls trafficked to Lebanon in search of greener pastures.
Arrival of the trafficked victims on Monday from Lebanon came days after 94 of them arrived the country via the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, where they were received by Federal Government agencies that facilitated their rescue after reviewing a video clip where they narrated their ordeal.
The arrival of the victims brought about coming together of different concerned agencies such as the NAPTIP, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Nigeria in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) to caution and advised the girls to shun all forms of trafficking and oblige them to channel their energy into working for their country for productivity and development.
Addressing newsmen after their arrival, Head of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Bitrus Samuel, disclosed that the girls were the second batch of the more than 150 Nigerian girls that were trafficked to Lebanon in search of greener pastures.
Also, the spokesman for Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ferdinand Nwonye, said that the rescue came after a video footage of the stranded Nigerians appealing to the Federal Government and well-meaning Nigerians to come to their aid went viral on the Internet and that the latest victims would be going from the airport to the hotel where the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) would profile their records as well as quarantine the girls as a precaution against coronavirus pandemic.
Nwoye said that the victim arrival were made possible through different spokesperson to liaise with the Lebanon’s authorities so as to aid their release, also that the Lebanese community in Nigeria through the facilitation of the Nigerian mission in Beirut chartered a flight, paid the flight tickets for these girls to return to Nigeria.
The NIDCOM representative, Akinloye Akinsola, revealed that the Lebanese Ambassador to Nigeria had suspended the issuance of working visas to Nigerians seeking to do domestic work in Lebanon due to complaints emanating from Nigerians employed as domestic workers in Lebanon over maltreatment from their Lebanese employers.
” Sequel to the complaints; the Lebanese Ambassador to Nigeria had suspended the issuance of working visas to Nigerians seeking to do domestic work in Lebanon, suspension had become imperative so as to stem the tide of the maltreatment.
” The commission had started the procedure for proper harmonisation in line with best practices relating to orderly migration and the discussion was with the Ministry of Labour and Employment and the House of Representatives’ Chairman on the Diaspora.” he reiterated.