OBVIOUSLY not pleased with recent deportation of 723 Nigerians by the Ghana Immigration Service, the Federal Government on Thursday disclosed that it would soon clamp down on illegal immigrants in the country.
Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola, made this disclosure in Lagos while speaking at the BRF Gabfest 2 Programme with the theme: ‘Where Are The Job.’
The minister, who lamented the inhuman treatment of Nigerians abroad, said the country also had extant laws to deport illegal immigrants in the country.
According to Fashola, there is current audit of workers on so many construction sites in the country to ascertain how many ECOWAS citizens who are working in those sites, just as he noted that though they do not need a visa to come into the country but there is was need for them to have a work permit.
“But you heard that Ghana deported some Nigerians. It is the right that every country has but it is a right we have never exercised but we are going to exercise it now. It is just the law, every foreigner who has legitimate papers to come to Nigeria is welcomed, if you want to work in Nigeria the same regulation that applies in your country that you must get a work permit applies here, go and get a work permit.
“If you don’t have a work permit here and you are in my site I will take you out. That is already happening. I refused to approve payment for one consultant two months ago because I said I wanted to see his work permit and make sure it was valid for the period the job was done and thankfully, he produced it and he was paid. These are the policies about jobs and employment that are in place by the President Muhammadu Buhari’s government,” the minister said.
Speaking further, Fashola said the issues of job creation in the country was hampered by policies enunciated by the previous administration in the country, but noted that a new approach had since been put in place.
Dwelling on job creation strategy of the present administration, he said the president had issued an Executive Order known as Executive Order 5, saying what the Order sought to achieve was that anytime the country’s economy produces opportunity citizens who were qualified must be giving preference to do the job.
“What Executive Order 5 seeks to achieve is that anytime our economy produces opportunity we must ensure that if Nigerians are able to do that job we should give them preference,” he said.
On what led to the establishment of N-power, Fashola recalled the unfortunate bank collapse after about 300 Nigerians found themselves in difficult business terrain, owing Nigerian Banks over N5 trillion.
According to him, the government of the day then bailed the banks out with N5 trillion in order not to bring the country’s banking system down and collapse the economy.
While noting that there was nothing wrong in supporting them not to cripple the economy, he said the 300 people involved never showed any sign of remorse, neither did the government that was in power then deemed it fit to ensure some lessons were learnt from the drawbacks their actions or inactions caused the country.
“The lesson from that experience informed why the Buhari led government decided to support people at the base of the pyramid by starting with social intervention funds to cushion poverty and established N-power and school feeding programme for over nine million children, among others,” he said, adding that the programmes, among others, had overtime created a linkage support for farmers producing the foodstuff needed to keep the programme going.”
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