Senate probes abuse of expatriate quota

The Senate during a plenary

Says sack of Lawal, Oke vindicates lawmakers
The Senate yesterday mandated its committees on interior and employment, labour and productivity to investigate alleged abuse of expatriate quota by foreign multinationals operating in the country.

It also asked the committees to organise a public hearing and report back to it in four weeks.

The immigration act, cap 11, laws of the federation of Nigeria, 2004, conferred on the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) and the Nigeria Investment Promotion Council (NIPC) delegated powers to grant quota to companies seeking to employ expatriates in the country.

The Senate’s resolution to investigate the claims was made following a motion on Abuse of Expatriate Quota by Foreign Multinationals, sponsored by Andy Uba representing Anambra South senatorial district.

Uba lamented that the multinationals had not adhered to the provisions of the act, which has resulted in the rise of unemployment ratio while most organisations employed over 300 expatriates into positions that could be filled by qualified Nigerians.

Other alleged breaches include the two to three years’ renewal of approvals and exceeding the limit of four expatriates for employment where there are no local experts for the vacant positions.

Also, Deputy Senate Leader, Bala Ibn Na’Allah, under a point of order yesterday declared that the Senate had been vindicated by the recent sack of former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Babachir Lawal and and Director General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ayodele Oke, over alleged corruption.

“The issues surrounding the termination of the appointment of lawal emanated from the Senate, the issues surrounding Maina also emanated from this senate. Today the Senate has been vindicated and we can shout it,” he said.

He, however, regretted that when the crusade started, the same Nigerians they were fighting for were paid to close down the National Assembly in the name of Occupy NASS.

“What is important here is to implore us all that the task before us is not a small one and that is why the oath of office says you will do that without fear or favour.

“It is important for Nigerians to realise that it gives them no good to spread falsehood to demean the National Assembly,” he added.

Speaking, Senate President, Abubakar Bukola Saraki, who urged other pending committee probes to conclude their investigations said it was a tough journey to defend the Senate.

“When we started, it was just a blackmail but we will continue in our commitment to fight and expose corruption without being selective,” he said.



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