Manila extends ban on workers to restive Nigeria
MANILA, Philippines–The Philippines said Thursday it would extend a ban on sending workers to Nigeria after Christmas Day bombings in the oil-rich African country left 40 people dead.
The two-year-old ban was to have been lifted by January 1 to allow the movement of thousands of Filipinos seeking to work in Nigeria’s booming energy sector.
But the wave of bombings has raised fresh security fears, and the ban will now remain in place for at least three more months, the Department of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.
The Philippine government imposed the ban after a series of Filipino workers were kidnapped in the oil-rich Niger Delta between 2006 and 2009.
The Department of Labor had recommended the ban be lifted days before the bombings occurred in Nigeria’s mainly Christian south. The attacks were blamed on the Islamist group Boko Haram.
The mainly Catholic Philippines is a major labor-exporting country, with about 10 percent of its 94 million population working abroad, many as maids, seamen, construction workers and laborers.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.