Nigeria Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, on Tuesday, 23 August, 2022, in Abuja, inaugurated the expanded Taskforce Committee on Expatriate Quota with a charge that members see their assignment as an effective tool to achieve President Buhari’s pledge to create 10 million jobs, in order to reduce unemployment in the country.
He also urged them to see their assignment as a strategy to promote mutual benefits between Nigeria and foreigners within the period of their stay in the country.
The Minister explained that Expatriate Quota Administration is a means to document, monitor and evaluate foreigners and their activities in every sector of the country’s economy.
He particularly wanted the Taskforce Committee to be aware that compromised expatriate quota administration, if left unchecked, may promote foreign domination, staunted economic development and arrest host country’s personnel development that may ultimately cause bad blood between nations, breed resentment and trigger xenophobia from nationals to foreigners – a development that Nigeria as a country cannot afford.
He therefore urged them to check the unhealthy practice of employment of expatriates without obtaining due approval of the Ministry; companies obtaining fake approvals and permits; obtaining fake expatriates quota and illegal transfers and racketeering of approved expatriates quota among foreign and home companies.
He particularly wanted members to check companies’ half-hearted and non-commitment to grooming Nigerian understudies through sharp practices such as recruiting fewer understudies, discriminatory remuneration to understudies compared to what foreign expatriates earn and reluctance and failure to train Nigerian understudies up to the standard required that will enable them take over from the expatriates they are being groomed to replace; and practice of expatriates staying more than the statutory 10 years on the job.
He therefore called on them to hit the ground running to advise the Ministry appropriately beginning with auditing all fines and penalties arising from breach of and non-compliance with terms and necessary regulations with a view to recommending appropriate remediation to the Ministry.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Interior, Dr. Shuaib Belgore, in his opening remarks, said the expansion of the Taskforce Committee was necessitated by incidence of administrative posting of former members of the committee which has created a vacuum in the earlier Committee inaugurated in December 2021.
The Chairman of the Taskforce Committee, Honorable Bola Ilori, pledged on behalf of the Committee members to be diligent in the discharge of their duties to fatherland.
Other members of the 10-man Committee are: the Co- Chairman, Barr. Mrs. Moremi Soyinka- Onijala; Mrs. Omotese Eva, Director, Legal; Mr. Olufunsho Alabi, Director, Special Duties; Mr. Adesina Akinola, a Deputy Director in the Ministry; ACI Titi Olaiya, Technical Asst. to HMI; Mr. Ademola Adeyinka, SSA to HMI; and Mr. Ejike Osibe, Deputy Director, Business.
The event was graced by directors in the ministry and stakeholders.