Mr. Abba Moro, minister of Interior has said the federal government commenced a reformation of the 1963 Nigerian Immigration Act which prohibits an employer from employing foreigners provided there is a suitable Nigerian for the job.
The reform is expected to fortify the Expatriate Quota Act and also put in place a proper administrator which will monitor compliance to the Act
Moro stated this in Lagos while delivering the keynote address titled, ‘Expatriate Quota Administration in Nigeria: Challenges and Prospects’, at a workshop on expatriate quota.
He expressed worries at the abuse of various immigration laws such as trading and non-utilisation of EQPs, foreign exchange leaching, forgery and fake EQPs and other documents, warehousing of files, non-compliance with understudy policy to ensure transfer of technology.
According to him, the ministry had resorted to automation to improve functionality and service delivery of the Ministry’s Citizenship and Business Department.
He said the guiding principles of the extant expatriate quota administration were still the Indigenisation laws which had been repealed by the NIPC Act of 1990 in line with global trends.
The minister also noted that the advent of globalisation, movement of human and material resources in the age of knowledge economy has made the exchange of skills and knowledge undeniable.
It would be recalled that the federal government had in June this year approved new visa and expatriate quota policy that will see to easing the entrance into the country of investors and tourists with a policy of granting visas at entry points for such categories.
Under the new initiative visas would now be granted at points of entry at international airports for those who have genuine cause to visit the country in conformity to the changing dynamics of international travel, investments and economic gains.
Moro had explained that the policy which will come with the automation of the business office of the Ministry of Interior will see to the electronic checking of the abuses which expatriate quota have been subjected to in the past.
He stated that apart from the provision which makes it mandatory for two Nigerians to be attached to every expatriate that works in Nigeria, there were provisions and expectations that for certain category of threshold of every investor, they will employ a certain number of Nigerians to build capacity and at the same time, create employment.