THE Federal Government, yesterday, mandated companies in Nigeria to employ qualified Nigerian graduates understudying for expatriates, or face sanctions.
A statement by the Chairman of the Special Ministerial Task Force on Monitoring and Enforcement of Nigerian Expatriate Business Permit and Expatriate Quota Administration, Mr. Bola Ilori, said, in Osogbo, Osun State, after it met with representatives of the Nigerian Immigration Service, Nigeria Labour Congress, Nigerian Bar Association, Nigerian Society of Engineers, other professional bodies and officials of the Ministry of Interior.
Ilori, at the end of the meeting, told companies to submit the details of Nigerians understudying expatriates, to verify their sincerity or otherwise to the policy, or face heavy sanctions from the Federal Government.
He said: “Every company must submit the details of Nigerians understudying expatriates in their organisations. They must submit the Tax Identification Number, National Identity Number of each Nigerian understudying expatriate in their companies.
“We have discovered that some of the companies are not sincere, they just want to keep renewing the permits of their expatriates at the detriment of Nigerians. We want to know whether they are circumventing the policy or adhere to it.
“The problem is that some of these companies are either not employing Nigerians at all or using school certificate holders to be understudying expatriates who are managers. How can a school certificate holder understudy a manager?
“What they are aiming at is that when the time comes for the expatriates to exit, the companies will say those understudying the expatriates do not have the capacity to become managers and you will agree with them. What that means is that Nigerians will not get to such positions and the expatriates will be there forever.
“But they do that deliberately to defeat the purpose of the Federal Government’s policy.”
Ilori maintained that the task force would ensure that Nigerians were no longer denied the opportunities to work in companies in the country by foreigners and their collaborators.