Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, the Minister of Interior, has revealed that the Ministry of Interior generated a swooping sum of N1.195 billion from January to October, surpassing its budgetary target of N600 million for 2023.
Tunji-Ojo, who was speaking before the plenary on the budget defence session of the joint National Assembly Committee on Interior, made this disclosure on Wednesday.
He added that his ministry is working to design programmes for job protection for Nigerians.
He said, “Aside from the projected revenue from expatriate quotas that had been surpassed by about N600 million extra, the N380 million projected revenue from marriage has also been surpassed by over N500 million with N892.774 million realised as at Oct. 31.
“We are also working to prevent expatriate workers from evading tax payment in Nigeria,” he said.
Tunji-Ojo shared with the committee members that the ministry had already developed a project for job protection for Nigerians.
The project according to him, is the Expatriate Employee Network primarily aimed to safeguard jobs meant for Nigerians from being stolen by expatriates and also prevent expatriate workers from evading tax payment in Nigeria.
Reacting to the Minister’s submission, Senator Adams Oshiomhole, heading the joint committee, conveyed to the minister that despite the ministry’s success in meeting revenue goals for expatriate quotas, the policy is creating opportunities for foreigners to seize jobs designated for Nigerians.
Addressing the Ministry of Interior, he criticized the issuance of expatriate quotas, asserting that it facilitated the appropriation of jobs from Nigerians by expatriates.
“Your ministry needs to regulate the issuance of the quotas very well as I have on good authority that prisoners from foreign lands are working in Nigeria as construction workers.
“This is even different from the age-long fraud the oil companies have been carrying out in the country through the policy of expatriate quotas by making our qualified engineers work under foreign technicians.
“Many non-Nigerians are in the country, some of them live inside containers. I even believe and dare say that there are foreign prisoners who are working in Nigeria. They were shipped to our country to serve their prison terms.”
Continuing, The committee chairman added, “They were being paid according to their country’s minimum wage by the construction industry that brought them. I don’t want to mention the company’s name but if I am provoked, I will mention it.
“Honourable Minister, this is a serious issue. Prisoners are not expected to work in their countries if the product or whatever they engage in is meant to be exported,” the senator added.