By Victor AHIUMA-YOUNG
ORGANISED Labour, under the Â Â Â Â Â umbrella of Nigerian National Fitters and Nigerian Welders Association, NNFA, and Nigerian Welders Association, NWA, have accused the management ofÂ Â Marubeni Engineering Limited, handling the power plant projectÂ at Ihovbor power plant site, Benin City, Edo state of expatriate quota abuse.
In a joint petition to the Comptroller-General of Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS, and copied to Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity, Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Edo State House of Assembly and Special Adviser to the governor on Labour Matters among others, the unions alleged that no fewer than 75 expatriates were currently on site doing the jobs meant for Nigerians.
The petition reads in part: â€œ Every Nigerian is aware that crimes such as armed robbery,Â kidnapping and militancy and so on, are fallout of high rate of unemployment in Nigeria. Both graduate and artisans are unemployed due to lack of job for them to do. However, when opportunities arise like the one provided by National Integrated Power Project, NIPP in Edo State, foreign companies working in NigeriaÂ deny Nigerians this opportunity.
An example isÂ in Ihovbor power plant, where Marubeni Engineering Limited brought in over seventy-five (75) expatriates of various Nationalities to take over jobs that are supposed to be for Nigerians. Some of the expatriates are mere cleaners, cooks and even stewards. We have fitters and welders who are more qualified and knowledgeable than most of them working and bossing over Nigerians here. Many of them are given the position of â€œRiggers.
â€ What is the job of Riggers? His job is simply to direct the crane drivers where to deposit whatever the crane is lifting. This job does not require any technology or special training. Any Nigerians could have done this, but instead over twelve expatriates are employed as Riggers.â€
â€œWe have very qualified Nigerian fitters and welders who can perfectly do the jobs being done by thirty-one expatriates.Â The same goes for electricians, mechanics, drivers and operators.
Our members are very angry over this deliberate abuse of the Nations system.Â How can we have qualified artisans and they are jobless in the midst of abundant jobs in our State?Â The only way to stop the thousands of our youths from crime is to keep them busy. They are ready to work and earn money and should be encouraged.
Our members are becoming very restive and we have been doing our best to restrain them. We are aware that it is the immigration services that have the right to admit foreigners into Nigeria and right to send them away.
We implore you to please use your good offices to find out how so many unqualified foreigners are brought into the country to take over our job. We hope sir, that you will take an urgent and positive action to avert an impending crisis.â€ All attempt to get comments from the company proved abortive