The National Assembly,Wednesday said
that prisoners from foreign land are working in Nigeria as construction workers.
It also alleged that expatriates are stealing jobs meant for Nigerians in Nigeria
The joint committee of the Senate and House of Representatives on Interior, stated this during the budget defence session with the Minister of the Ministry , Hon Olubunmi Tunji – Ojo.
This is even as the Ministry of Interior disclosed that it surpasses its budgetary target of N600million revenue from issuance of expatriate quotas in the 2023 fiscal year by raking in, N1.195billion from January to October this year.
Lauding the Minister of Interior,the Chairman of the joint committee, Senator Adams Oshiomhole (APC Edo North) said that while it is heartwarming that the Ministry surpassed its revenue targets on issuance of expatriates quotas but its policy is giving room for expatriates to steal jobs meant for Nigerians in Nigeria.
He implored the ministry to regulate issuance of the quota, adding, “your Ministry needs to regulate issuance of the quotas very well as I have on good authority that prisoners from foreign land are working in Nigeria as construction workers .
He added:”This is even different from the age long fraud the oil companies have been carrying out in the country through the policy of expatriate quotas by making our own qualified engineers to work under foreign technicians.
“Many non Nigerians are in the country, some of them live inside containers. I even believe and dare say it that there are foreign prisoners, who are working in Nigeria. They were shipped to our country to serve their prison terms.
“They were being paid according to their country’s minimum wage by the construction industry that brought them. I don’t want to mention the company’s name but if I am provoked, I will mention them.
“Honourable Minister, this is a serious issue, prisoners are not expected to work in their countries if the product or whatever they engage in is meant to be exported.”
In his budget presentation to the joint committee, in 2022 and outgoing 2023 fiscal years, the Minister of Interior explained that the Ministry surpassed its budgetary revenue projections on expatriate quotas and marriage .
He said that while N600bmillion was targeted as revenue to be generated from issuance of expatriate quotas to deserving foreign firms in the country, N1.195billion, has as at October 31, 2023, generated from it.
He said: “Aside the projected revenue from expatriate quotas that had been surpassed by about N600m extra, the N380million projected revenue from marriage, has also been surpassed by over N500million with N892.774million realized as at October 31, 2023.”
The Minister assured the committee members that the Ministry had already come up with project for job protection for Nigerians .