The Observer has learned that the government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has placed Ugandans and Nigerians on a blacklist.
As of October 6, 2022, no Ugandan or Nigerian would be permitted entry into the UAE without a certificate of good behavior and around 5,000 Dirham (Shs 5.3 million) on their bank account, according to a source at the Ugandan embassy in Abu-Dhabi.
The source claims that the action is intended to reduce crime and illegal immigration. The UAE government has provided free return flights for all illegal immigrants. They had to turn themselves in to the immigration officials.
Over 600 Ugandans who had overstayed their welcome and accrued fines were deported by the UAE authorities. According to reports, the gang was among the roughly 1,000 Ugandans held at Dubai Central Jail.
105 men, 500 women, newborns, and expectant moms made up the group. In the UAE, there are 100,000 legitimate migrant workers from Uganda. In the UAE, the majority of Ugandans work odd occupations like housework.
“All Ugandans and Nigerians must abide by the new regulations. No matter if you’re a visitor, a temp, or a housekeeper. To enter the UAE, you must have Shs 5 million in your pocket; else, you must stay at home, the insider stated.
This regulation might spell the end for regional businesses that hire Ugandans as domestic staff for the UAE. Many people struggle to keep at least Shs 5 million in their accounts.
The insider source claimed that the embassy was informed of the UAE’s choice. The informant claimed that “Ugandans and Nigerians had turned into crooks, conniving people and sleeping on streets.”
The new rule only applies to visitors, according to Ronnie Mukundane, spokesperson for the Uganda Association of External Recruitment Agencies (UAERA).
The distinction is that employment agencies hire Ugandans with employment visas. Nigerians and Ugandans with a visit visa to the UAE are included on the blacklist. If you claim to be traveling for tourism, you must have some cash available. Ugandans who entered on visit visas and overstayed are being deported by the UAE, he claimed.
“If you plan to work, you must have a contract of employment; as a result, you can enter the UAE on an employment visa. The directive does not apply to us because we export labor, he said.
Our persistent calls to Betty Amongi, the minister of Labor, Gender, and Social Development, went unanswered. Uganda recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the friendly UAE government to streamline labor externalization, and it will soon be implemented, according to Ambassador Henry Mayega, Uganda’s consul general in Dubai.
“We must impose more regulations on businesses that outsource their workers. The consulate is enlisting the diaspora in a variety of activities that advance Uganda’s development, the official claimed.
From Ugandans who live and work abroad, the government of Uganda receives US$1.2bn (Shs 4.5 trillion). The Middle East alone receives $200 million from the UAE and $600 million (Shs 2.2 trillion), respectively.
According to Lawrence Egulu, commissioner in charge of Employment Services at the ministry of Gender, Labour, and Social Development (MGLSD), there were 235 licensed private recruiting firms as of June 13, 2022.
Each business pays Shs 2 million in license costs every two years. The ministry of gender shut down 11 businesses last year for, among other things, falsifying Covid-19 test results, training reports, renewal paperwork, accumulated client refund claims, and human trafficking. According to the Gender ministry, 88 deaths of migrant workers have been reported in Uganda thus far in 2019. Saudi Arabia has the highest estimate of these, at 69. Following Somalia with three fatalities is the UAE with five apiece, followed by Jordan with five, and then Qatar, Kuwait, and Bahrain with two each.