Representatives to investigate expatriate quota abuse by telecom operators
Speaking of the motion, Shinkafi stated that the Immigration Act of 2015 and the Immigration Service Regulations of 2017 were the main laws governing the employment of expatriates in Nigeria.
He added that the main regulatory bodies were the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) and the Home Office.
He said the law allows NIS to issue entry permits and expatriate quotas from time to time to foreigners who intend to work in Nigeria for specifically approved jobs.
He added that it was for a specific period in order to train Nigerians and transfer skills to them during their period of employment.
The lawmaker said the expatriate quota was intended to prevent indiscriminate employment of expatriates where there were qualified Nigerians who could fill the positions.
He indicated that the expatriate quota could be granted for an initial period of three years and renewed for a period of two years subject to a total lifespan of 10 years.
Shinkafi said he was aware of a clause in the expatriate law that provided for two Nigerians to double-dub an expatriate, in order to promote the transfer of knowledge and technology.
He said, however, that some foreign companies had taken advantage of this clause in active collusion with the NIS and other agencies to import as many of their nationals as possible.
He added that this was often done, albeit illegally and in blatant disregard of the law.
He said the practice of abusing expatriate quotas was initially limited to the oil and gas sector but was extended to the telecommunications sector in which there was an overabundance of local skills.
“Many expatriates still keep their jobs after their permits expire and have not been renewed as required by law.
“Expats enjoy unimaginable wages and privileges while their Nigerian counterparts are paid less and treated with disdain in their own country.
“Many skilled Nigerians are losing their jobs and the country is losing several million dollars a year.”
The house, however, tasked the telecommunications and home committees to investigate allegations of expatriate quota abuse in the telecommunications sector and report back within six weeks.