Lebanese Ambassador to Nigeria, Houssam Diab has dismissed the claims that the ladies seen in a viral video begging to return to Nigeria from Lebanon were trafficked to the country.
In a meeting with the Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama on Friday in Abuja, he explained that the girls entered the country legally but got stranded when their employers were unable to meet their financial obligation as a result of economic hardship caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
He noted that the temporary ban on the issuance of visas to domestic workers since May had also contributed to the number of ladies stranded in Lebanon.
He said, “As of May 1, the Lebanese government had stopped issuing visas for domestic workers coming from Nigeria.
“This will definitely stop any new cases from arising. They will not be able to get into Lebanon, the specificity for the issue at Lebanon is that all these girls are entering into Lebanon legally.
“There is no human trafficking illegally into Lebanon.
“About 90 percent of the agencies involved in it are Nigerian agencies and they apply through Lebanese agencies in Lebanon through the security general to acquire work visas and work permits for the ladies.
“This is how it is; so by stopping the issuing of the visas, we would have stopped new cases from arising.”
In his remarks Onyeama thanked the Lebanese government and the Lebanese community in Nigeria for their efforts in facilitating the return of the stranded Nigerian girls
He added that the temporary ban on issuance of visa would give Nigeria time to review the whole situation and put labour laws in place.