DFA wants deployment ban to Nigeria lifted

Posted at 12/23/11 3:38 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Overseas Filipino workers may soon be allowed to work in Nigeria again, as the Department of Foreign Affairs recommended the lifting of the deployment ban due to improved security situation in the Niger Delta.

In a letter to Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda D. Baldoz, Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert F. del Rosario said there are some 5,000 jobs that are available for OFWs in the oil, gas and construction industries in Nigeria.

"We have reviewed the overall security situation in Nigeria and have concluded that the insurgency in the Niger Delta has been properly addressed... No more kidnapping incidents have occurred and Nigeria has become a vibrant democracy with a thriving economy," del Rosario said.

The Philippines imposed a total deployment ban in Nigeria due to incidents of Filipino seafarers being kidnapped in the Niger Delta between 2006 and 2009.

Philippine Ambassador Nestor Padalhin met with Nigerian officials who informed him of a demand for skilled Filipino workers for Nigerian industries.

"According to our ambassador in Nigeria, 5,000 jobs in the oil, gas and construction industries awaiting our OFWs in Nigeria," del Rosario said.

At present, there are 7,240 Filipinos in Nigeria, mostly professionals and nationals married to Nigerians.

The Philippines and Nigeria will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations next year.