Nigeria’s Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Mohammed Rimi, said about of 446 Nigerians are currently serving different jail terms in the middle-east prison facilities.
Rimi made the disclosure at a town-hall meeting between Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari and Nigerians in the UAE.
The ambassador said the Nigerians are in jail for possession of hard drugs and engagement in robbery activities.
“It is disheartening to state that 446 Nigerians are currently serving different terms in prisons across UAE on account of committing various crimes including possession and consumption of hard drugs and engagement in armed robbery,” Rimi said.
Rimi also disclosed that over 5000 Nigerians were granted amnesty by the UAE government.
The ambassador said the amnesty granted to Nigerians is an expression of UAE’s tolerance and accommodation to all irregular residents in the country.
He noted that Nigerians in the UAE have been supported by the government to live and pursue their legitimate businesses in the country
Rimi, who did not disclose the exact figure of Nigerians in the UAE, said “the number of Nigerians resident in the country is estimated at about 10,000. Out of this number, about 2,017 are students in various universities.”
“In 2018, a total of 5,774 standard passports were issued by the embassy, out of which, 3,164 were specifically issued during the amnesty programme. Further 1,346 emergency travelling certificates were issued to Nigerians to facilitate their return home,” Rimi said.
President Buhari told Nigerians that the Next Level agenda of his administration “will be focused on consolidating on what we have done in the last four years, in line with our campaign promises on security, the economy and the fight against corruption.”
“I seize every available opportunity to explain to Nigerians our situation in 2015, when we came to office; where we are today; and what we have been able to do with the resources available to us. We will continue to administer the resources of Nigeria honestly and productively,” Buhari said.