How travel agents endanger Nigerian youths’ lives in Jordan

Posted on: January 26, 2022, by :

Nigerian Ambassador to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Ambassador Faruk Malami Yabo has decried the activities of some Nigerian tour operators. He said these tour operators put young Nigerians in harm’s way in Jordan. Ambassador Yabo was reacting to the a statement by the Jordanian Tourism Board (JTB) that the country plans issuing Nigerian tourists visa at the point of entry to the country (visa-on-arrival). He said even though there has been a statement by JTB to that effect, the embassy was yet to get a full guideline on the operation.
He said the embassy was weary of such pronouncement because some tour operators and travel agencies use it to dupe uninformed Nigerian youths and put them in danger. He said: “That was a statement by the Jordanian authorities some weeks back. We are still looking for its interpretation. But I will tell you as much as I know and as much as the embassy knows as well.
“One, due to the faith tourism (by NCPC) that was managed responsibly ; we did not have one single Nigerian defecting out the 2500 Nigerians that came for visa…apart from that, the integrity of our COVID tests also stood the test of time. All the Nigerians that came here with the COVID tests from Nigeria, I think 99 per cent was okay. When they were tested in Jordan, the tests proved negative. Jordan was very excited with that feat.
“They now said okay, we are going to start first by introducing our medical facilities to Nigeria. They issued another order saying Nigerians can have access to medical tourism in Jordan, I think, within 72 hours if they have any hospital in Jordan that is going to bring them in. So, that we have already started seeing. Within 72 hours Nigerians are getting visas.
“So the third layer, when JTB travelled to Nigeria, before they even came, the feedbacks they were getting from Nigeria because of the contacts and the quality of the contacts the met in Nigeria, Jordan decided that Nigerians can get visa-on-arrival, but in so far as it is going to be a direct flight.
So, you see there is a caveat.”
Ambassador Malami explained that if a Nigerian arrives Jordan from a third country, the person may not get visa on arrival, “Yes exactly, once it is direct flight from Nigeria to Jordan… what we are clamouring for at this point is to make that travel to Jordan coordinated. Once they are coordinated, just like the way we managed NCPC, we are not going to have disappointments because immediately that policy was announced, even before the interpretation, some travel agents who rely on selling visas to gullible Nigerians started, because we have a lot of consular issues here. We told even Jordanian authorities that we are not celebrating this because of what happens. Some travel agents in Nigeria, will get some young people or people desperately looking for employment and tell them come to Jordan and you will find incredible opportunities. One, the currency here is very strong. We know that travel agents that operates on their own outside the coordinated umbrella skew the process and endanger our citizens.
“Most these young people, they leave, not because they want to come, but because someone is trying to sell a package to them. So they borrow money from their parents, friends and sell their land assets. When they come, they discover that they are not going to see those opportunities that were sold to them for the purpose of selling the visa and package.”

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