About 35 Nigerians are currently stranded in Dubai, sleeping in a park as the companies they worked for stopped paying their salaries, making it difficult for them to fly back home.
This was revealed in a social media post by Dubai-based journalist, Ashleigh Stewart in a now-deleted tweet. She said the stranded Nigerians don’t have access to running water even though it is currently the “peak summer in Dubai”.
Stewart added that the Nigerian Embassy is aware of their plight, as the stranded Nigerians were previously sleeping outside the embassy, but were moved to the park after they appealed for help.
She said most of them were working in Dubai, but their companies refused to pay them during the pandemic, forcing them out on the streets.
“They have been appealing to the Nigerian embassy for an aid flight home but have yet to succeed. Around 70 of them were flown home last week.
“One of the women, a former housemaid, has been here 2 weeks. She has 3 children in Nigeria and just wants to get home to them. Another man, a nutritionist, arrived in January to find work and said he had been applying for everything ‘even labourer jobs’ and couldn’t find a job,” she tweeted.
In a subsequent tweet, Stewart said she had to delete the previous tweet because plans to assist the Nigerians had already commenced. Stewart says that the Nigerians just want to return home, as was informed it would either be via sponsors, airlines, or the embassy. She, therefore, called for support to buy their tickets back to Nigeria.
Stewart later thanked concerned people that have offered to help and said the plan is to reach the Nigerian embassy.
“They, and humanitarian groups as well as the Dubai Government, are working on getting a more formal channel to help them set up in the meantime. I’m told that everything is being done to get them home as soon as physically possible and to get them comfortable accommodation as well,” she said.
It would be recalled that since the COVID-19 pandemic struck, the Federal Government through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other agencies have been making efforts to bring back home Nigerians that have been stranded in several countries.