A December 23, 2011 press release from the Department of Foreign Affairs
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said today that it is recommending the lifting of the deployment ban of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Nigeria effective 1 January 2012, due to the improved security situation in the Niger Delta.
“We have reviewed the overall security situation in Nigeria and have concluded that the insurgency in the Niger Delta has been properly addressed,” Secretary of Foreign Affairs Albert F. del Rosario said in a letter to Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda D. Baldoz.
“No more kidnapping incidents have occurred and Nigeria has become a vibrant democracy with a thriving economy. According to our ambassador in Nigeria, 5,000 jobs in the oil, gas and construction industries awaiting our OFWs in Nigeria,” he added.
The ban was imposed due to the kidnapping incidents in the Niger Delta involving Filipino seafarers during the period 2006 to 2009.
There are 7,240 Filipinos in Nigeria, mostly professionals and Filipino nationals married to Nigerians. A number of them have expressed the desire that the deployment ban be lifted.
In his meetings with Nigerian officials, Ambassador Nestor Padalhin has been informed that there is a demand for skilled Filipino workers for Nigerian industries.
The Philippines and Nigeria will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations in 2012.