According to reports, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Abuja, approved the disengagement of the workers due to some ongoing rationalisation of workers at the embassy. The officials, however, said the ministry had also approved the payment of gratuities to the workers, some of whom had worked with the embassy for more than 30 years.
Some of the affected workers had alleged that the decision to lay them off was arbitrary saying the embassy had no plans to pay their gratuity and other severance benefits. They also accused the Mission of retaining the non-Nigerian employees at the expense of those who are of Nigerian nationality.
The embassy in 2017 had disagreements with the local workers over the non-payment of salaries spanning several months, leading to protest at the embassy at the time. Some of the workers also embarked on work to rule, which disrupted consular services at the embassy before they were paid following approval of three months’ salary by the ministry.