From Joseph Inokotong and Benjamin Babine, Abuja
The Federal Government has inaugurated a nine-man Special Ministerial Task Force on Monitoring and Enforcement of Nigerian Expatriate Business Permit and Expatriate Quota Administration.
Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, who inaugurated the task force, yesterday, in Abuja said it became necessary because there had been abuses and gross violations of the expatriate quota policy by foreign investors.
A statement by Mohammed Manga, Director (Press & Public Relations), quoted the minister as saying the expatriate quota policy is aimed at encouraging foreign investors to invest in the country’s economy and also bring with it high level manpower development and ensure technology transfer, if the grooming of Nigerian understudies is done in good faith.
“The permit is valid for two years at the first instance and renewable cumulatively for a maximum of 10 years, after which the expatriate returns to his or her country. During this period, at least two Nigerians should be groomed to take over from the expat.
“This policy attracts investments in our economy and also bring with it high level manpower development and ensures technology transfer, if the grooming of Nigerian understudies was done in good faith.
“This is in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s promise to provide 100 million jobs for Nigerians.
“The economic boost this will generate will lead to wealth creation, national self-reliance and will provide jobs for the youths. This is a critical factor to the second point – boosting national security. It has been well established in virtually all defence and development studies that a linear relationship exists between economic wellbeing and youth engagement on one side and national security on the other,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) said it is stepping up its campaign against casualisation of workers by platform technology based companies in the transportation, telecommunications industry, and oil and gas industries.
Speaking in Abuja, during the National Youth Delegates conference, the NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, said Nigerian workers in those sectors were valued less than the profits their employers want to gain.
Wabba, who was represented by the President of Nigeria Civil Service Union (NCSU), Ameachi Lawrence, said the advancement of technology especially the floodgates of the internet and social media applications occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic have ushered in its wake a huge traffic of dislocations, displacements and despair.
He said workers must be alive to these developments and engage businesses and government to ensure that deployment of these technologies does not erode industrial health and safety for workers.
“Nigerian workers and trade unions face daunting challenges which have been increased by the rapidly evolving dynamism in the world of work especially with the emergence of platform businesses and the reality of their iron clench resistance against unionization of workers,” the NLC president said.
He said data showed that in the next decade, one billion young people will enter the labour market, and large numbers of young people face a future of irregular and informal employment.
“A recent report by the Trading Economics put the level of Nigeria’s youth unemployment at 36%. The resource access challenge faced by young people has been exacerbated by Covid-19 and worsening impact of climate change. There is certainly a huge fight ahead of you and all of us as we embrace what the future brings,” he said.