The Federal Government on Tuesday warned companies operating in Nigeria’s Oil and Gas Industry against employing foreign workers for positions reserved for Nigerians.
A statement jointly issued by the Ministry of Interior, the Nigerian Content Development & Monitoring Board (NCDMB) and the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) said government had observed that Manpower Supply Companies that have been issued Statutory Oil and Gas Industry Service Permits by the DPR to supply ‘Nigerian Professionals Only’ were engaged by operators and contractors to supply expatriates in the industry.
The government said the permits “clearly indicate that they are not to be used to deploy expatriates under any circumstance or guise”.
The government said it was disturbed that Operators and Major Service Providers promote “this illegal practice by entering into contract agreements with these Manpower Supply Companies to source expatriates for positions which in several cases had been denied quota and earmarked to be occupied by Nigerians. This practice circumvents laid down statutory approval processes and compliance requirements for obtaining Expatriate Quota Positions”.
The government ordered that “Companies (Operators, Service Providers etc) engaging manpower suppliers with permits for supply of “Nigerian Professionals Only” are to ensure that no expatriates are deployed under such manpower supply contracts under any guise (whether on EQ, TWP or other processes);
“Companies seeking to engage expatriates in the Nigerian Oil and Gas industry must ensure that they obtain the relevant approvals from NCDMB before applying for Expatriate Quota, TWP or other entry permits from Ministry of Interior, the Nigeria Immigration Service or other agencies of government;
“Companies deploying expatriates in the Nigerian Oil and Gas industry are to ensure full compliance with the guidelines and requirements of the Ministry of Interior and NCDMB including registration on the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Joint Qualification System (NOGICJQS) as well as biometrics enrolment of all expatriate personnel in their employment.”
The statement added that the NCDMB “will intensify its monitoring and evaluation activities to identify companies violating the statutory provisions of the DPR manpower supply permits and perpetuating illegal expatriate deployments with a view to invoking appropriate sanctions and penalties as specified in the Immigration Act, 2015 and Immigration Regulation, 2017 as well as the NOGID Act;
“Companies in the Oil and Gas Sector intending to apply for Expatriate Quota Positions, should submit and process their applications to the Board by registering and applying on the NOGICJQS portals”.