Clearly dissatisfied with the deportation of 723 Nigerians by the Ghana Immigration Service, the Federal Government, last Wednesday, revealed that it would soon clampdown on illegal immigrants in the country.
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing Mr. Babatunde Fashola who disclosed this at the BRF Gabfest-2 programme tagged, ’Where Are The Jobs?’ held in Lagos, lamented the inhumane treatment of Nigerians abroad, saying the country also has extant laws to deport illegal immigrants in the country.
He stressed that there is current audit of workers on so many construction sites in the country to ascertain how many ECOWAS citizens who are working in the sites, adding that that even though they do not need a visa to come into the country, but they need a work permit.
According to Fashola, ’you heard that Ghana deported some Nigerians. It is the right that every country has but it is a right we have never exercised, but we are going to exercise it now. It is just the law, every foreigner who has legitimate papers to come to Nigeria is welcomed, if you want to work in Nigeria the same regulation that applies in your country that you must get a work permit here go and get a work permit.
‘’If you don’t have a work permit here and you are in my site I will take you out. That is already happening. I refused to approve payment for one consultant two months ago because I said I wanted to see his work permit and make sure it was valid for the period the job was done and thankfully he produced it and he was paid. These are the policies about of jobs and employment that are in place by the President Muhammadu Buhari’s government.’’
He said the issues of job creation in the country was hampered by policies enunciated by previous administration in the country.
Dwelling on job creation strategy of the present administration, he said the president has issued an executive Order known as Executive Order Five.
He said: ’’ What Executive Order Five seeks to achieve is that anytime our economy produces opportunity we must ensure that if Nigerians are able to do that job, we should give them preference.’’
Fashola reminisced that after about 300 Nigerians found themselves in difficult business terrain owing Nigerian banks over N5 trillion, the government of the day then bailed the banks out with N5 trillion in order not bring the country’s banking system down and collapse the economy.
The minister noted that while there was nothing wrong in supporting them not to cripple the economy , the 300 people involved never showed any sign of remorse , neither did the government that was in power then deem it fit to ensure some lesson were learnt from the drawbacks their actions or inactions caused the country.
He explained that the lesson from that experience informed why the Buhari led government decided to support people at the base of the pyramid by starting with social intervention funds to cushion poverty and established N-power and school feeding programme for over nine million children, among others.
Fashola said the programmes had overtime created a linkage support for farmers producing the food stuff needed to keep the programme going.