Govt Revokes 700 Rogue Overseas Agent Licenses in Renewed Crackdown


The government has revoked over 700 licenses from dubious operators promising lucrative opportunities abroad, in a bid to protect its citizens from unscrupulous agents preying on job seekers. 

The crackdown comes as part of the Kenya Kwanza administration’s drive to encourage Kenyans to explore employment opportunities beyond the local market, as it seeks to raise Ksh1 trillion in remittances by Kenyans working abroad by 2025.

According to Diaspora Affairs Principal Secretary Roseline Njogu, the number of licensed agents plummeted from over 1200 to just 500 within a year. 

Speaking at the inauguration of the Kazi Majuu job fair in Meru, Njogu urged Kenyans to only engage agents registered with the National Employment Authority.

“At the beginning of last year, that list was 1,200 agents. 700 people have fallen, and have been struck off the register because of bad manners and criminal activity,” stated Njogu.

A photo of the Principal Secretary for Diaspora Affairs Roseline Njogu

Photo

State Department of Diaspora Affairs

She cautioned, “If you’re going to look for a job abroad, please only work with agents who are licensed by the National Employment Authority. Do not work with travel agents, do not work with other people who call themselves agents and are not agents.”

Njogu stressed the government’s vigilance in monitoring and regulating these agents, stating, “We regulate those agents so that when we get a complaint… we revoke the license of that agent.”

She added, “Those who become criminals or crooks, those who go and leave people in the diaspora, and when they’re in trouble, they don’t take care of them, all of those people, we have come down hard on them.”

The issue of Kenyans falling victim to job scams abroad has long plagued the nation

In a recent case, detectives are pursuing a Nairobi pastor allegedly involved in a Ksh600 million jobs scam, leaving thousands in financial ruin.

The desperation to secure opportunities overseas has been exacerbated by economic challenges, with Kenyans grappling with job losses and a high cost of living, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics reported a rise in the unemployment rate, with over 80,000 Kenyans losing their jobs within the first three months after the 2022 August general elections.

Amidst these challenges, the government has sought to alleviate the strain on its healthcare sector by sending nurses abroad. Initiatives such as sending 76 nurses to the United Kingdom in August 2023 and plans to dispatch thousands more to Saudi Arabia.

The government aims to leverage these remittances, targeting Ksh1 trillion by 2025. 

According to PS Njogu, the National Employment Authority’s Integrated Management System website lists all government-licensed agents. The government is urging Kenyans to check whether the agent or agency they intend to use is licenced by the ministry.

Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi during the launch of the Fourth Medium-Term Plan 2023-2027 at Statehouse, Nairobi.

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Mudavadi



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