About $2 billion in annual income has been identified by analysts as one of the potential benefits from the federal government’s initiative to make expatriates’ employment contribute more to the national purse.
Some other benefits include increase in employment rate and lowering of the quest for foreign exchange.
The planned initiative to bring working expatriates’ community into the new revenue net has become all the more important in view of the declining and unpredictable revenue from oil.
Ministry of Interior, working in concert with the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), together with other stakeholders in government and the private sector, is fine-tuning the granular details of the policy that would soon come on stream.
The broad consensus among analysts who tried to dissect the policy to apprise stakeholders with what to expect is that the initiative was reasonably creative, consistent with the age-old drive to expand the nation’s income base.
Speaking on different platforms on the same subject, the analysts, including Professor Okey Ikechukwu, Mr. Chibuzor Okereke and Professor Abiodun Adeniyi were united in arguing that while the plan of government was legitimate, it should also be concerned about the transparent use of scarce resources.
During a TV programme, Dr Amaechi Anakwe, Prof. Ikechukwu hailed any effort that was designed to increase the employment of Nigerian citizens, especially because expatriates were not required for low-hanging jobs, which could easily be taken up by Nigerians.
He added that, “we do not require expatriates for construction, supermarkets, restaurants, and retail because we have more than enough citizens who can handle the sectors.”
Okereke argued in an interview with Arise TV Newsday programme that “if a Nigerian company goes to China and India and sets up a plant, it may have a handful of expatriates at management level, while the remainder will also be local staff members. This is not the same case in Nigeria, where expatriates are more at the top and fewer at the bottom. It is time to reverse the narrative for Nigerians.”