Map of Walvis Bay (Namibia) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The President intends to partner with Namibia to build a joint refinery at the Walvis Bay. Laudable objective! My question however, is, where is the Walvis Bay?. If it is in Nigeria, well, that is quite encouraging. If however, it is in Namibia, then it is the same old story. Do we not have refineries built by Nigerians or Nigerians in government, scattered across the continents? When shall we come home? We are going there to create jobs for the Namibians while the best we can do is to swindle our own people in the guise of giving them jobs that never materializes. Would Nigerians be employed in this joint partnership venture? We always enter into joint partnerships that are lopsided in their composition, with Nigerians ending up marginalized. No matter the level of your investment in a business venture somewhere in Africa, you can never fill a position with Nigerians when there are indigenes of that country that can fill the position, never. What do we have here? The Chinese, Koreans, Indians, Lebanese etc, in the name of investing in our economy, flood our country with their nationals to fill positions that can be effectively filled by qualified Nigerians. We have immigration laws that should control this damaging influx of foreigners but the NIS seem not to be aware of this. We have organizations bring in people who do not speak English to supervise English speaking Nigerians in jobs where Nigerians have been adequately trained, and in English too. The law says any foreign professional must be understudied by at least two Nigerians within two years with the aim of taking over from these foreigners. Is this law working and what is the NIS doing to monitor compliance? There are organizations violating this law with impunity. The NIS just issues work permits without proper verification of claims of organization making application for expatriates. Expatriate quota is flagrantly abused by these organizations without the NIS living up to its responsibilities. In most cases temporary work permit has become permanent with an expatriate staying for as long as four, six or more years, without a single Nigerian trained. We all travel out and we see how immigration laws work. Nigeria, let us wake up. In the local lingo, "One day be one day, yawa go gas". We are selling our country to foreigners. "Quick fingers" in government are the reason for this sorry situation we find ourselves. NIS, please wake up. Written: Paul Nwoko Former University of Lagos Engineering faculty.