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Following a very extensively damaging public admission by a committee of the Federal House of Representatives alleging that Chinese owned companies in Nigeria are bringing in as expatriates, prison inmates from China to work in many lucrative construction sites paid by Nigeria, a call for a transparent probe has been initiated.

Making the disclosure is the leading pro-democracy and Non-Governmental organization in Nigeria – HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) which has tasked the National Assembly to name and shame public officials facilitating such illegality. 

Through its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Director of Media, Miss Zainab Yusuf, HURIWA has also tasked the comptroller – General of Immigration to provide transparent response to the allegation regarding how expatriate quotes could be granted to Chinese prisoners.

HURIWA disclosed that over 200,000 unemployed graduates of Nigerian origin have petitioned the group demanding that the Federal government investigates this scam and prosecute the indicted officials just as the group challenged government to defend the right to decent employment of millions of Nigerian  youngsters and stop making Nigeria a dumping ground for foreign prisoners and quacks from china and other jurisdictions who are brought in to Nigeria fraudulently to take up job slots that should be given to Nigerian qualified graduates. 

In a statement HURIWA said thus:

PETITION ON BEHALF OF 200,000 NIGERIAN GRADUATES

We are petitioning to stand against the illegal immigration of large numbers of Chinese prisoners into Nigeria as expatriates in turn taking slots meant to accommodate graduates in the Labour force of the Nation.

A House of Representatives member representing Gumel, Gagarawa, Maigateri and Sule Tankarkar Federal Constituency of Jigawa State, Sani Zoro, raised the alarm of incessant importation of Chinese prisoners to work in foreign companies in Nigeria. The lawmaker, who stated that the Chinese prisoners were often conveyed into the country as expatriates, blamed Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) of complexity in the immigration.

Surprisingly, NIS, Deputy Controller Immigration (DCI) James Sunday, denied the allegation leveled against the Service, insisting that the claim remains an unfounded allegation. He said the statutory responsibility of Immigration on movement of immigrants had never been compromised.

A case raised but ignored till date.

The Controller General of Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), Mohammed Babandede, has affirmed in December 2018 that porous borders on the nation’s territory still remain a major challenge bedeviling the success of NIS. He said ‘’we still have unsecured borders’’

He lamented the inability of Immigration to render maximum control of the 140 recognized land borders in the country.

This is a clear indication that illegal immigrants are much in the country. 

The country’s unemployment rate worsened in the third quarter of 2018 (Q3,2018), rising from 18.8 per cent in Q3 2017 to 23.1 per cent in the third quarter of 2018, the labour report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), has shown.

According to the Labour Force Statistics-Volume I released December 2018, the total number of people classified as unemployed which means they did nothing at all or worked for a few hours (under 20 hours a week) rose from 17.6 million in Q4 2017 to 20.9 million in Q3 2018.

The economically active or working age population (15 -64 years of) also increased from 111.1 million in Q3, 2017 to 115.5 million in Q3, 2018.

The report also showed that the labour force, which is the number of people who are able and willing to work rose to 90.5 million in Q3, 2018 from 75.94 million in Q3, 2015.

It was 80.66 million in Q3 2016 and 85.1 million in Q3, 2017, the NBS’ report stated.

According to the statistical agency, the total number of people in part-time employment (or under-employment) however, rose to 18.21 million in Q3 2018, from 13.20 million in Q3 2015, 11.19 million in Q3 2016 and 18.02 million in Q3 2017.

The total number of people in full-time employment (at least 40 hours a week) also increased from 51.1 million in Q3 2017 to 51.3 million in Q3, 2018, the report said.

The NBS, however, explained: “Of the 9.7 = million unemployed that did absolutely nothing as at Q3 2018, 90.1 per cent of them or 8.77 million were reported to be unemployed and doing nothing because they were first time job seekers and have never worked before.

“On the other hand, 9.9 million or 0.9 per cent of the 9.7 million that were unemployed and doing nothing at all reported they were unemployed and did nothing at all because they were previously employed but lost their jobs at some point in the past which is why they were unemployed,” the report said.

According to the NBS: “Of the 9.7 million that were unemployed and did nothing at all; 35.0 per cent or 3.4 million have been unemployed and did nothing at all for less than a year; 17.2 per cent or 1.6 million for a year, 15.7 per cent or 1.5 million had been unemployed and did nothing for two years, and the remaining 32.1 per cent or 3.1 million unemployed persons had been unemployed doing nothing for three and above years.”

It,however, pointed out that a rise in the unemployment rate is not entirely equivalent to an increase in job losses, adding: “Rather, an increase in unemployment can occur as a result of several reasons of which loss of an existing job is just one.”

A rise in unemployment, the NBS said, generally means that the number of people searching for jobs has increased.

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

WHAT WE WANT

1. The government should address the issue with immediate effect

2. The NIS should investigate and report to the nation on the development.

3. The Chinese workforce should be drastically screened and reduced to the lowest number

We give the government 78 hours to address/respond to this petition or there will be a civil protest concerning this issue.

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