Prisoners from foreign countries working as expatriates in Nigeria  –Oshiomhole

 


Adams Oshiomhole, chair of the senate committee on interior, says prisoners from foreign countries work in Nigeria as construction workers or expatriates.

Oshiomhole said this on Thursday when Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, minister of interior, defended the budget proposal of his ministry before the committee.

The senator representing Edo north said the interior ministry needs to regulate the issuance of expatriate quotas (EQs).

EQs are granted by the ministry of interior to foreign-owned or indigenous companies. The permits enable them to recruit foreign employees to legitimately work in the country.

The EQs then enable the companies to process subject-to-regularization (STR) visas for the expatriates.

"Your ministry needs to regulate issuance of the quotas very well as I have on good authority that prisoners from foreign land are working in Nigeria as construction workers," Oshiomhole said.

"This is even different from the age long fraud the oil companies have been carrying out in the country through the policy of expatriate quotas by making our own qualified engineers to work under foreign technicians.

"Many non-Nigerians are in the country, some of them live inside containers. I even believe and dare say it that there are foreign prisoners who are working in Nigeria. They were shipped to our country to serve their prison terms.

"They were being paid according to their country's minimum wage by the construction industry that brought them. I don't want to mention the company's name but if I am provoked, I will mention them.

"Honourable minister, this is a serious issue. Prisoners are not expected to work in their countries if the product or whatever they engage in is meant to be exported."

The minister responded by saying that his ministry is working hard to protect jobs meant for Nigerians.

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