The National Emergency Management Agency has revealed that most of the Nigerians who were evacuated to the country after being stranded in the United Arab Emirates complained of not being able to get a work permit because of a new policy by the government of the Middle East country.
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About 542 Nigerians were evacuated from the UAE and arrived at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja on Sunday, October 23. According to NEMA, the evacuees who returned on board the Max Air flight consisted of 79 males, 460 females, and three infants.
Speaking to the media, the Head of the Media Unit, NEMA, Manzo Ekeziel, said plans were in place to see the return of more Nigerians stranded in the UAE. He said,
“The Federal Government received communication and decided to support them back to the country. I don’t know if there’s any diplomatic row or not.
“There are some of them that could not come in today but arrangement is on for them to be transported, maybe tomorrow. I’m not sure of the total number of those still left behind.
“One of the evacuees, Blessing Okorie, from Ebonyi State, interacted with, blamed a new visa policy; and that they could not get a work permit.
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“She said she travelled to that country with valid papers but after some time, according to her, the government of the UAE came up with a new visa policy that made her unable to get a work permit. Because of that, she was sacked from where she was working and, according to her, she had to hustle.”
Meanwhile, a statement issued by the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission revealed that the evacuees were given $100 each to facilitate their return home.