Wednesday, December 30, 2009

38 Nigerians in Israeli prisons

No fewer than 38 Nigerians are languishing in Israeli prisons over immigration-related offences, Nigerian Ambassador to Israel, Mr. Dada Olisa has said.

He said only 600 out of estimated 3,000 Nigerians residents in Israel registered with the embassy.

Olisa who spoke in Tel Aviv, Israel said recently some of the 38 Nigerians awaiting deportation had been released.

"A few months back when we were given data, 38 Nigerians were in detention, awaiting deportation. But in the past one month or so, a few of them were released," he said.

The diplomat said not all Nigerians in Israeli prisons were criminals as many of them were charged for overstaying in the Middle East country.

"Nigerians are law abiding because their motivation and interest is to make money and the only job opportunity available are menial jobs like cleaning of the environment.

"All they do is to go for cleaning jobs, and some of them work in farms while some may be care givers, if they have the training but Nigerians here are generally cleaners," he said.

He said Nigerians residing in Israel could not afford the high cost of education in the country and this was compounded by language problems.

"We don't have Nigerians schooling here because of the high cost of schooling; an average worker earns $1,000 a month, which is the minimum wage anybody can receive in Israel. School fees is high and I don't see how any Nigerian resident here, who may not be regular, may be able to avoid such school fees," the envoy said.

He said Nigerians who come on pilgrimage to Israel had been warned against defecting, noting that Israel is a small country with tight security.

"We tell them that the kinds of opportunities they may want to have in Israel are not there and if anybody absconds, it is a matter of time, the person will be apprehended,

"In the past few years, there used to be high incidence of absconding but with the combined efforts of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Commission (NCPC), the Nigerian Embassy and the Israeli authorities, a lot of them have been discouraged from absconding.

"Israel is a country that you have to be here with your legal document; it is not a country that is as large as Nigeria where a legal immigrant could hide for a long time without being discovered.

"Here, it takes no time and when they are discovered, they are deported.

"Nigerians generally are always averse to their embassies; they hardly want to go and register with the embassy. So if they do not register especially if they came in irregularly, there is no way you will know.

"Since I came, I have adopted some measures that encouraged them to have a Nigerian association; which they now have and through their activities a good number of them have started registering," he said.

Daily Champion

Related stories: Britain plans to build £1m jail for in Nigeria for Nigerian criminals serving sentences in Britain

 52 Nigerians on death row in foreign countries

 Nigerian executed in China

China to cremate 21 Nigerians if bodies are not claimed by December 15

Video report of Nigerians rioting in China

No comments:

Post a Comment