The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has arrested and detained about 800 Nigerians for various offences bordering on irregular migration.
This was contained in a statement signed by the Head, Public Relations Unit, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Gabriel Odu, on Friday.
The Saudi authorities said 45,458 illegal migrants were in the country, hence the need to get rid of the undocumented foreigners.
The clampdown by the Saudi authorities began in October 2022.
The Federal Government, however, urged Nigerians travelling to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to do proper documentation, noting that Saudi authorities have heightened a clampdown on irregular migrants.
The statement read, “The attention of the Management of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, has been drawn to a communication from the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation on Saudi Arabian authorities intensifying crackdown on undocumented foreigners in their Country.
“The Letter stated that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has between October and December 2022, intensified joint operations across the Country targeted at riding the Kingdom of undocumented irregular migrants.
“In the Communication to the Federal Government of Nigeria, the Saudi Arabian government noted that about 45,458 foreigners ranging from violation of residency rules, illegal border crossing attempts and irregular migrants for labour-related offences are in the country.
“NiDCOM therefore, urges Nigerians travelling to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia without proper documentation not to do so as Saudi authorities have heightened a clamp down on irregular migrants.
“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has about 800 Nigerians arrested and detained for various offences particularly Consular issues since the clampdown began in October 2022..
“Though the Nigerian Embassy in Saudi is intervening in this matter, NiDCOM urges Nigerians to resist breaking the laws of other countries.
“In the same vein, the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has appealed to the United Arab Emirates President, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to lift the suspension of the blanket visa ban on Nigerians travelling to the UAE.
“The commission has appealed to Nigerian citizens that if they must travel, they should travel with proper documentation and legitimately too.”