Senator Wilson Ake
By Omololu Ogunmade
The Senate Committee on Employment, Labour and Productivity has summoned Halliburton, Shell and other oil giants along with notable construction companies over alleged abuse of expatriate regulations and other labour laws.
According to the committee, which said it discovered the perceived abuse at the weekend, the erring companies are to appear before the committee to explain why they have failed to comply with labour laws.
The committee, which threatened that any company found culpable of the alleged abuse would be punished, added that over 60 per cent of major construction companies and oil giants in the country have refused to comply with labour laws.
The committee chairman, Senator Wilson Ake, in a statement, said some of the companies which had appeared before the committee, failed to produce evidence of their compliance.
While threatening that the committee would no longer condone flimsy excuses from the affected companies, Ake accused them of contributing to high unemployment rate in the country because of the alleged abuses.
He said the committee "had received several complaints and petitions from the general public and the civil society organisations concerning the operations of some oil and construction companies in Nigeria, especially on gross violation of vital labour laws and employment policies.
"Some of these companies were invited to furnish the committee with some information and also appear before it. Some of the companies that appeared before the committee were investigated based on their submissions.
"During the investigation, it was discovered that virtually all the companies have been operating with little or no regards to labour laws, employment programmes and policies. Some have hidden behind the expatriate quotas to undermine the employment of Nigerians in areas they are better qualified and suitable."