80,000 Nigerians in Diaspora are Sex Slaves and Labourers – Reps

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The House of Representatives has alleged that at least 80,000 Nigerians outside the country are being held as sex slaves and labourers.

This was revealed by the chairman of the House Committee on Diaspora, Tolu Akande-Sadipe who said most of the affected Nigerians are being held across most of the middle east as well as Lebanon and Mali.

She condemned the deafening silence regarding the appalling situation on the part of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Labour and Employment.

She further accused the Ministry of foreign affairs of working to effect the release of an alleged Lebanese human trafficker, Wafic Mohammed Hamza accused of trafficking 16 Nigerian girls into Lebanon.

According to Akande-Sadipe;

“Records show that Wafic Hamza was complicit in the trafficking of 16 girls. 10 have been repatriated to Nigeria, and 6 remain stranded in Lebanon.

“Hamza is in custody in Ilorin, Kwara State, awaiting trial for trafficking. But it appears that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is working for his release without any regard for our citizens losses, their repatriation back home and compensation.”

The lawmaker raised the alarm on the rising dehumanisation of Nigerians abroad, even in countries with long standing cordial relations with Nigeria.

“The ongoing sordid dehumanizing treatment foisted on Nigerians abroad particularly trafficked girls under the cover of foreign domestic staff has become very disturbing.

“According to NAPTIP, in the past one year, there has been an alarming number of daily distress calls from Nigerian women crying to be rescued due to the inhumane conditions they face in countries like Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Oman, Lebanon and Mali.”

Akande-Sadipe thereafter raised a motion calling for the intervention of the House of Representatives to ensure the eradication of trafficking and dehumanisation of Nigerians abroad.

She also urged President Muhammadu Buhari to sanction the Minister and the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Labour and Employment for violating rules regarding issuance of licenses for international recruiters.

She alleged that many international companies have been excluded from the mandatory reporting of the situation and location of Nigerians in their employment.

The plight of Nigerian students stranded in Turkey was also discussed on the floor of the house by Hon. Tolulope Akande who stated that they could not afford the cost of an evacuation flight.

She urged the Ministry of foreign affairs to negotiate an affordable flight for the stranded students.

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