House of Representatives Committee on Telecommunications has expressed its displeasure over the alleged abuse of expatriates’ quota by telecommunication companies operating in Nigeria.
The committee noted the increasing cases of abuse of expatriates’ quota system by companies in the country without due regard to local content Act and the recently signed Executive Order by President Mohammadu Buhari would not be tolerated.
Saheed Akinade-Fijabi, chairman of the committee during an investigative hearing, noted that the National Assembly would aimed put an end to all sharp practices relating to illegal influx of expatriates.
The committee is investigating level of compliance with expatriate quota system by telecommunication companies operating in the Country.
While reacting to the submission of Huawei Technologies Company Nigeria Limited, one of the companies alleged to have flaunted the quota system, Akinade-Fijabi said the company had 299 expatriates mainly Chinese on its employment despite the availability of qualified Nigerians who could perform similar duties they were being made to do by the firm.
“The parliament will not allow Nigeria to be turned a dumping ground of all manners of expatriates, if this committee finds out that there are Nigerians that can do similar work these people are doing, we will not hesitate to send them packing.
“If you say you have about 10 or less expatriates in your Company, that can be overlooked but when you are saying about 300, that is alarming and unacceptable to us when the law of local content is there with the recently signed executive order by the president ”
“If there are Nigerians that Can do what all these expatriates are doing, there is no reason giving them our visa in line with the new Executive order singed by the President,” he said.
However, there was a mild drama , when the expatriates could not provide answers to simple questions put to them on the numbers of Nigerians attached to them to over study them despite the fact that their entry permits would expire in three months time as well as their description of jobs.
Mr Osita Nweze, deputy managing director of the Company who tried to defend the expatriates that they could only communicate in Chinese language was queried on how the expatriates have been Communicating with those under studying then before now.
Following this development, the committee directed the management of the Company to appear before it again by next week Friday with an updated list of the expatriates working with it, their job descriptions, their current identity cards, educational qualification, the numbers and names of the Nigerians currently under studying them and that 30 of the expatriates from the six geo-political zones of the country where they currently being engaged.
Responding, Mr Nweze promised that the company would compliance with the legislative directive.