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The FG will sanction those who violate the rules on expatriate quotas – Minister

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By Yahaya Isah

Home Secretary Rauf Aregbesola said the federal government is on the verge of sanctioning any foreign organization that breaks the country’s expatriate quota rule.

The expatriate quota is the total number of quotas granted to foreign companies to operate in the country.

Aregbesola gave the warning during the second stakeholder meeting on the administration of expatriate quotas in Nigeria at the Grand Pela Hotel and Suites on Wednesday in Abuja.

The minister noted that it has become imperative to impose severe penalties on anyone who violates the country’s rules on expatriate quotas, noting that this has severely affected the unemployment rate in the country.

“Anyone who doesn’t care about the unemployment rate in the country is not a patriot. We must be concerned about the high unemployment rate in the country.

“This is in large part due to the violation of quota rules by foreign companies, which do most of the jobs that would normally have been done by our citizens,” he said.

Aregbesola recalled that he had inaugurated, on December 1, 2020, a special working group of nine people on business permits on the administration of expatriate quotas (EQA) to investigate, inspect, sanction and apply sanctions. for violation of the use of EQA.

“In Nigeria, whether it’s a local or foreign joint venture, this permit and QE are best practice globally.

“Each nation regulates its economic relations with other nations, in a mutually beneficial manner, but putting its national interest and its citizens above others.

“All the nations of the world, in short, no nation can be negligent because every nation is there to promote, advance and protect the interests of its own citizens.

“It’s healthy competition that has survived the test of time. If managed properly and efficiently, it will lead to technology transfer, workforce development and rapid industrialization.

“Where nations are careless or unconscious, this leads to unspeakable consequences of unbalanced and unbalanced relationships, foreign domination, retarded development of host nation staff, and ultimately creates dependency syndrome,” he said. said.

The Minister noted that the country has suffered from the syndrome of quota violation to a reasonable extent, due to diligent application of rules and guidelines.

“It is also replicable in many African and developing economies. This is therefore a very serious national policy, since an average of 30,000 expatriate quota positions are issued and allocated to around 4,000 companies per year on average.

“In strict compliance with local content and national interest regulations, around 60,000 mid-level jobs are expected to be created equally and annually for the transfer of knowledge and skills.

“But unfortunately, the country does not seem to benefit from them and the question to be asked is that, since we do not have the advantages, how do we organize to gain them”, noted the minister.

Aregbesola reminded those behind such practices to give up, as the federal government decided to deal with them decisively.

In addition, the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Labor and Employment, Dr Yerima Tarfa, noted that Nigeria has reached a stage where the enabling law, guidelines, processes and its monitoring / evaluation need to be reviewed. globally to achieve local content.

Tarfa was represented by the Director of Employment and Wages of the Federal Ministry of Labor and Employment, Mr. Inyamali Audu.

He further noted that the local capacities that existed that offered potential employment opportunities to thousands of Nigerians were illegally and arbitrarily occupied by expatriate companies, especially in the construction and oil and gas sectors.

“The problem is not only that Nigerians are denied the opportunities available in these areas, but many companies are actually exceeding their legitimate quota,” he said.

He urged the federal government to rise to the challenge and come up with tough measures to deal with the ugly trend, while ensuring that local content is secure. (NOPE)

(NAN)

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