By VICTOR AHIUMA-YOUNG
NIGERIA Employers Consultative Association, NECA, has protested the use of foreigners from Italy, South Africa and Zimbabwe by the Ekiti State Government, for its International Enterprise Development Training for Young Farmers in the state, instead of Nigerian certified International Labour Organisation, ILO, Master Trainers who have same competence and qualifications as their foreign counterparts.
The Association, has, therefore, urged the Federal Government to deny visa to these expatriates. Director-General of NECA, Mr. Segun Osinowo, argued that besides, the drain on the nation’s economy, it is also compounding Nigeria’s unemployment crisis.
According to Osinowo, the rate of unemployment in Nigeria is on the increase and lots of graduates flood the labour market with several competences but are faced with job scarcity.
“As part of Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association contribution with the support of ILO and the Norwegian donor agency NORAD to tackle this menace, they promoted entrepreneurship in Nigeria through a crop of Master trainers who had acquired the expertise and certification to administer the ILO world acclaimed entrepreneurial module titled Start and Improve Your Business (SIYB).”
“The whole idea of this initiative is to have domestic capacity to support government’s endeavour in tackling unemployment in Nigeria but the case was different as the Ekiti State has engaged the service of experts from South Africa and Zimbabwe rather than Nigerian certified ILO Master Trainers who have same competence and qualifications as their foreign counterparts.”
”From investigations, the ILO informed NECA that the UNDP had expressed preference for the foreign experts. This action of the ILO and UNDP can be described as unjust, unfair and a deliberate attempt to undermine the development of Nigerians. They have been insensitive to the national interest of Nigerians. By their action, they have demonstrated that they will rather promote the economic interest of other countries.
” By implication of this action means moving abroad donor funds and Nigeria resources, as we are sure the Ekiti Government is providing counterpart funding, through employment of foreign consultants, which in most cases are more expensive than Nigerians. They are by their action shipping abroad Nigerian jobs.”
“We hereby call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to direct our requisite embassy and High commission in Italy, South Africa and Zimbabwe not to issue visas to these foreign experts. If Nigeria can source the expertise locally, why import one?”