By Godfrey Bivbere
The Federal Government has said that it will not compromise its role of protecting local industries and the labour market from unfair competitions and trade practices of developed countries.
Minister of Interior, Captain Emmanuel Ihenacho, stated this in Lagos in his speech as Special Guest of Honour at the Nigerian Chamber of Shipping Members‘ Evening. Ihenacho said that while government appreciates that the world is a global village, in terms of exchange of goods, services and persons, it will not open the nation‘s borders to the influx of foreigners in whatever guise without considering the security and economic implication inherent in the administration of Expatriate Quota and other immigration formality.
Speaking on The Role of the Ministry of Interior in Facilitating International Trade in Nigeria, the Minister stated “An important aspect of Expatriate Quota Administration, which is often ignored or misunderstood by many people, particularly applicants, is the security and economic implications of Expatriate Quota Administration to the nation.
While it is true that Nigeria as a developing country needs to benefit from the experiences and technology of the advanced nations, it is important that we protect our local manpower by ensuring that jobs that are meant for Nigerians are not occupied by foreigners in order to stem the unemployment rate in the country. Although the world is a global village and the WTO preaches free trade or liberalisation of trade, it is our duty both individually and as government to protect our local industries and markets in order to avoid being reduced to mere consumers of labour and technology of the advanced nations. Our focus at all times should be to develop indigenous technology, local capacity building for both our industries and markets”.
Ihenacho further noted that the administration of Expatriate Quota helps attract foreign direct investment; fast track economic development; transfer technology through importation of modern machinery and equipment; build and enhance local capacity and skills; institutionalise Nigerian understudies attached to Expatriates and for appropriate documentation.
Also addressed several specific issues relating to other immigration facilities such as understanding a Business Permit, Amendment of Business Permit, Temporary Work Permit and its Requirements, Renewal of Quota Position(s) and its Requirements, Re_designation and Restoration of Quota, Subject to Regularization Visa (STR Visa) and its Requirements, and Combined Expatriate Residence and Alien Card(CERPAC) and its Requirements.
Earlier in his welcome address, President of the Nigerian Chamber of Shipping (NCS), Admiral Mike Akhigbe represented by the Vice President, Mr. Andy Isichie, commended the Minister for his selfless contribution and commitment to the development of the Nigerian economy.
The Nigerian Chamber of Shipping Members’ Evening was attended by notable dignitaries in the Nigerian maritime industry including Chairman of the Indigenous Shipowners Association of Nigeria (ISAN), Chief Isaac Jolapamo,, Former President of the Maritime Arbitrators Association of Nigeria, Mrs. Doyin Rhodes Vivour and several others.