suffering in the midst of plenty

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A migrant gazes at the Doha skyline from the Corniche (Flickr photo)

It is really a great initiative that the Nigerian embassy here in Qatar, under the headship of ambassador Shuaibu Adamu Ahmed, is taking the initiative to assist countless jobless Nigerians who are roaming around in search of jobs.

Each day I am driving on Doha’s roads or comfortably waiting, in my well-cooled sedan, to cross an intersection at traffic signals, I can not but notice two to three Africans walking by. This is an increasing phenomenon right now in Qatar because we didn’t get to see many people walking the streets those days (even as early as 2007 when I arrived here), so one can’t but notice their presence.

I can almost tell one of them is Nigerian as they roam Doha streets, under the scotching sun (temperatures here in Qatar could reach 50 degree Celsius in peak summer months!). Many of them bear the telltale signs of joblessness. They are obviously on the street in search of jobs. You can easily tell their predicaments from their looks and the file, hiding their resume, clutched tightly in their hands.

I am usually filled with pity for them and at the same time, shame. Shame because Nigerians are not supposed to be in this condition (not even anyone, but the world is not a level playing field), if not for the bunch of irresponsible and bad people in the government back home.

What also evoke my pity for them most of the time is the fact that majority of them have paid huge sums to obtain Qatar’s visas and their processor might have promised them heaven  and earth. I have had countless opportunities to interact with good number of them, largely from Nigeria and Cameroon. They claimed to have paid a lot in Naira and CFA Franc to certain individuals back home, who have links with Qatar where their visas were processed.

Of course, the visa racket is no longer news in Qatar as it has become very popular of late. Many even rumoured that the locals are benefiting hugely from it. But, that is not the subject of this post.

The contention here is why are visas being issued to this set of Africans when there is no immediate or remote hope of job for them here? Many of them have stayed months and even years and yet to secure a decent job.  While a number of them blame discrimination against the dark skin for their fate, some are confused why they are unemployable.

A size-able number of them, who could not withstand the penury until succour finally arrive, were alleged to have returned home after the expiration of their stay permit. I think people should reason well before parting with their money, asking themselves: is it really worth it?
Many of these jobless Africans are finding it really tough to survive here, especially to feed and to pay rent, which must be paid every month. Mind you, their lodging is nothing more than a bed space in a cramped room shared by up to six persons. Some even find themselves in situations much worse than the much hyped living and working condition of some of the labour workers here.

Already, local communities here are describing some ‘jobless African youths’ as ‘nuisance’ on their local radio programmes and pockets of misdemeanour are being linked to these guys as well…call it the case of ‘the idle mind is devil’s workshop’!

Now with the latest move by the embassy in co-operation with Qatar’s government, we can be rest assured that things will no longer blow out of proportion.
It was also learnt that the embassy is ready to assist those willing to go back to Nigeria facilitate their trip back.
Way to go ambassador Shuaibu!

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4 thoughts on “suffering in the midst of plenty”

  1. I can’t blame those people that wants to come over here for a greener pasture. But they should thread softly by curtailing their vices. As for those that are enriching themselves with the sale of visas, may the wrath of God be on them and their families, Aameen.

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  2. The problem is not only in Doha but everywhere.Here in the U.S,some Nigerian are not eligible to work here.They end up pretending to African-America lady who would help them with paper work to become eligible to work, thereby indulge in illicit act.Some told me their story have been in this mess for more than five or six years. Is very disturbing and the whole scinero is inability of Nigerian Government to provide job for teaming population of the youths.The same thing in United Kingdom.I read a story of a man that was deported to Nigeria because he married a lady that of recent month,she married someone which is a contract,the court discoverd that during the course of interview and data investigation.
    The move by embassy might not be the best solution but the Nigeria Government should creat jobs for the youths and make life better for all rather than thinking of their own pocket alone.

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  3. lyk Abdkabir said , d problem can only be solved wen d govt. provide jobs for its citizens , also social ammenities like electricity shld b improved so dt pple wit biz ideas will av means to do it . desperation is d cause of ds mess for Nigerians who are illegal immigrants in foreign countries . And also lawlessness , wen u walk thru Oshodi bstop, adverts are pasted for visas into various countries ,qatar n dubai are d reigning ones now wit deals dt are too good to b true.

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  4. “I look to the right. I look to the left. What I see is illusion.” Majek Fashek’s words upon visiting New York. United States isn’t to him as it was portrayed. He saw the inner cities, the destitution and the crime.

    What’s driving folks away from home. Some say ‘search for greener pasture’. Some say, they want to ‘make quick money’.

    But, how much do they know about their host country? They should know a lot. And, they should try to gain entry through legit means.

    Must one travel to live a meaningful life though?

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