Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, Foreign Affairs Minister, has expressed concerned over the rate Nigerian girls are trafficked and trapped in the Saudi Arabia for forced labour and rapped.
Onyeama has stated this in Abuja when the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Director General, Dame Julie Okah–Donli, briefed him on the outcome of the investigation on Nigerian girls trafficked to Saudi Arabia.
He said: “The report showed that this is a real scourge and it is just too pervasive now in our society and a lot of work is being done by the NAPTIP which is commendable.
“Human trafficking is about trafficking beyond our other as a large part of it beyond our bother and this is concern the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, we are also very much worry
“We need to sensitise our country and our people and to bring the issues closer to home through a personal experience.
“We want to put in place mechanism to tackle this issue, it is a crime against humanity, our youths are suffering and it is not something we can tolerate.
“And, every effort would be made, that nothing would be spared toward eradicating this menace form this country and from the face of the earth.”
Okah–Donli said: “We came here complaining to you about the rate at which our young ones are being taken out of the country to Saudi Arabia under the guise of getting jobs for them.
“There were calls from victims who were being trapped in Saudi, who are suffering and you graciously set up a team comprising NAPTIP officials and the ministry to go to Saudi and investigate
“When the team visited Saudi Arabia, we met with more than 50 girls who were interviewed and we were told that there were many more girls who were stranded in various part of Saudi Arabia.
“One of the victims was brought back and she is here to recount her ordeal.
“There is a very big cartel that works with embassies, who secured visas for the victims because those who have genuine businesses don’t easily get visas but the trafficked.
“It all started through a friend who claimed was living in Dubai; she introduced me to a woman agent in Abuja, I was living in Lagos and latter invited to meet her in Abuja
“When I came, I was taken for a medical check-up in Dr Wada’s Hospital.
“The agent promised that I would go to Saudi as a sales girl and that I would be earning equivalent of N150, 000 there.
“Everything was processed through her and when we got to Saudi it was a different thing entirely, my passport was seized and ended working as a house help.
“And if I could not pay I would have to work for two years, so I contacted a journalist friend who contacted NAPTIP that contacted the Nigerian Embassy through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“I want Government to assist those other girls that are stranded because it is not easy, Nigerian girls are passing through hell in Saudi, there may not be work in Nigeria but it is better to stay back.
“I went through physical torture because my boss and her children beat me when I said that I wanted to go back to Nigeria.”