The federal government has revealed the reason behind the harsh and hostile treatment that was meted out to Nigerians who travelled to United Arab Emirates recently.
Recall that a viral video on Wednesday showing some Nigerians stranded in Dubai international airport surfaced on social media, with a Twitter user, @dunchichi, saying at least 20 Nigerians were stuck at the airport and their passports seized.
Reacting to the video, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, chairperson of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), says some Nigerians who have been sent back from Dubai tried to circumvent the new visa rules of the .
Speaking on the reports relating to Dubai in a post on her Twitter handle on Thursday, Dabiri-Erewa said despite being warned on the new United Arab Emirates (UAE) visa rules for certain age categories, some Nigerians tried to “circumvent” the regulations.
“Warned on the new UAE visa rules for certain age categories. Many now try to circumvent by applying for ‘family visas’. They get the visas and travel alone. Also 6 months genuine bank statement, accommodation, return ticket must be produced. Another set to be sent back now,” she tweeted.
UAE visa rules require that Nigerian passengers “must have a hotel booking or proof of accommodation address for the whole period of intended stay”, but this does not apply to persons with resident visa.
Also, aside from other regulations, the rules provide that “deportation on the same flight will follow if sponsor (or representative) is not present at the time of passenger’s arrival at the airport”.
Meanwhile, in another video shared by NiDCOM on Thursday but dated August 4, Dabiri-Erewa said “bad behaviour” by some Nigerians prompted the UAE to tighten their visa rules.
“I think a few Nigerians have taken bad behaviour too far and we have to admit and accept that. It is not about profiling or generalisation, it has gone too far,” she said.
“So, what the Dubai authorities have done is they have made their visa processes more stringent. So, if you are below 30, no visa for you if you are male below 30.
“It is very difficult. They have made it so stringent that you are not likely to fulfill it. It doesn’t matter who you are.
“Secondly, if you’re looking to Dubai now, you have to provide a six-month bank account, you have to have your return ticket and you must show proof of accommodation and if you lie, they are going to know and turn you back.
“So, let’s learn to obey laws of other countries and just do the right things because there are too many good Nigerians in Dubai.”