Alhaji Muhammadu Modibbo, Nigeria’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, has urged the Federal Government to ban unemployed Nigerians from traveling to the Kingdom in search of jobs, to save Nigeria’s image.
Modibbo made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Makkah, Saudi Arabia.
He said: “I have sent a letter through the Foreign Affairs Ministry for government to ban such people from coming here (Saudi) because they are suffering.
“I am also appealing to Nigerians to try as much as possible to get something doing in Nigeria instead of coming here because it is not easy.
“Thousands of people from various countries have left here.”
He said that the embassy was also concerned about the increasing cases of women working as maids that are being abused, and some unscrupulous Nigerians involved in drug trafficking.
According to him, the embassy has been intervening in cases of drug pushing by some Nigerians, adding “there are many Nigerians on death row for the offence”.
He said: “There are many cases before I assumed office eight months ago; I always intervene but there is not much I can do even though we have some little successes.”
On the prevalence of Nigerians illegally residing in the Holy land, known as Tukaris, widely believed to be involved in shady businesses, the envoy said most of them refused to return home after the expiration of their entry permits.
Moddibo said: “Many of them have been here for many years working and will not return home but if they are arrested, they are deported instantly.”
He blamed some agents for the woes of many Nigerians working in Saudi companies and other organisations.
He said: “The agents manage to get passports and Visa for their clients and when they have problems, they come to the embassy daily.
“Some countries have banned their citizens from coming to work here because of problems being faced in Saudi Arabia. So why are Nigerians coming to face these hardships.”
He, however, commended the cordial relationship between Saudi Government and Nigeria, adding that Nigeria recently got a 10 million-dollar donation from the Kingdom to assist Boko Haram victims.