The State of Qatar has expressed its willingness to have more Nigerian component in its labour force.
Chargé d’Affaires of the Embassy of Qatar in Nigeria, Ahmad AL-Horr, said this in Abuja while on an official visit to the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige.
AL-Horr told the minister that the government of Qatar needs collaboration with the ministry because the number of Nigerian workers in the country is limited.
He assured that his country cares about workers protection for engineers, doctors and indeed all other professions.
“We are processing the Bilateral Agreement between the Government of Nigeria and the Government of Qatar on the Regulation of Employment of Nigerian migrant workers in the State of Qatar.
“We need relationship with the Labour Ministry because the number of Nigerian workers in Qatar is limited. We want more Nigerian workers in our country he said.
He informed the minister that Qatar is ready to host the FIFA World Cup, the biggest football tournament in the world, starting from November 20 and ending on December 18, which is their national day.
He said Qatar looks forward to welcoming Ngige at the World Cup.
Responding, the minister said the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment is looking forward to the bilateral agreement between Nigeria and Qatar on labour migration.
Ngige blamed the alarming rate of unemployment in Africa on the youth bulge of people between the ages of 17 and 35, who constitute 60 percent of the population.
“In Nigeria, they (youths) are in the neighborhood of that same 60 percent. We have unemployment ratio of about 34 percent. If you include underemployment, you will be talking about close to 40 percent, which is also very alarming.
“That is why we are looking forward as a country towards formalising labour migration agreement with you. Your country has been identified as one of the destinations for people who are looking for work.
“You have even reiterated here that the Nigerian component of foreign workers in your place is limited. That is why we are very interested in this agreement. We are working assiduously towards ensuring that it is one of the agreements the President will sign during his planned state visit to Qatar.
“We need Nigerians to work in your place. We also appeal to you to find a way of formalising the stay of Nigerians who are living and working in your place illegally,” he said.
He expressed hope that Nigerians would work well in Qatar as the two countries are oil and gas producing countries.
He said a lot of Nigerians trained in oil and gas would be assets to Qatar if allowed to work in the country.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Job Creation, Mrs Matilda Mmegwa and some directors in the ministry joined in receiving the Qatar envoy.