By Emmanuel Nduka
Up to 600 Nigerians residing in Kuwait are currently at risk of deportation from the country over their inability to renew their residence permits.
According to reports, those affected include persons whose international passports are less than one year to expiration, as the Kuwaiti authorities do not accept such in permit renewal.
Some of the affected persons who spoke to DAILY POST on condition of anonymity said the Nigerian Embassy in Kuwait does not issue nor renew passports and following COVID-19 travel restrictions they are unable to seek renewal alternatives.
The immigrants claim their means of livelihood is currently threatened while the same fate will likely befall students studying in the country.
Some said resident permits in Kuwait are only renewed if the passports have at least one-year validity, adding that most people’s passports are already expired or less than a year.
“At the moment, we have about 600 Nigerians in Kuwait who are at the risk of being deported with their families. All for no fault of ours.
“The Nigerian Embassy in Kuwait does not issue or renew passports and due to COVID-19 restrictions in Kuwait, airports have only been opened this October 2021 since its closure in March 2019. So Nigerians here haven’t been able to seek other alternatives.
“So, effectively they are without valid residencies. Meaning they could be accosted by security officers and deported as illegals,” they said.
They further revealed that in early July, two Nigerian Immigration officers came to Kuwait, captured their data and made them believe they would get their passports within two months.
“It’s now four months and there are no signs. If nothing is done, we may not get anything till next year,” they further lamented.
Reacting, the Consular Officer at the Nigerian Embassy in Kuwait, Muhammed Abdullahi Ahmed said the Embassy has been doing its best to help, adding that some of them who came with complaints have been given papers to cover them until their passports are ready.
He explained that the head of Nigerian immigration came to Kuwait to assist in capturing their data for onward processing
“The COVID-19 pandemic affected all the missions abroad including Nigeria Embassy in Kuwait. What is delaying the work is because of the number of passports they are attending to”
“The immigration is working on them alphabetically on about 145 missions. All missions abroad have a similar issue and the production would be a marathon. Capturing is done already, issuing from Nigeria and still waiting for them,” he added.