THE House of Representatives has adopted a report of its committee on Interior seeking Amendments to the Immigration Act, 2015. The adoption followed consideration of the report by lawmakers at the plenary session of the House presided by the Deputy Speaker, Honourable Lasun Yussuff.
In addition, the House also raised the penalty for a violation from one million to two million.
The proposed law when signed by the President will restrict Nigerian Immigration Service from issuing Work Permit to foreign expatriates in fields where Nigerian citizens have requisite knowledge and skills.
Each of the clauses in the report got the nod of the House and forwarded to the Senate for concurrence.
The sponsor of the Bill and Leader of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila in a statement released by his Media Aide, Olanrewaju Smart in Abuja said the adoption of the report by House which coincided with Executive Order 5 on local content signed by President Muhammadu will give legal strength to the intentions of the president.
“This Immigration Act, 2015 Amendment Bill I sponsored in July 2016 preceded the Executive Order made by President Muhammadu Buhari on a similar matter on February 5, 2018, and will considerably provide legal teeth to ensure implementation of the presidential order beyond the tenure of the current President.”
Gbajabiamila also hinted that the amendments to the Immigration Act, 2015 was the House’s response to the growing unemployment in the country.
“This is a further step taken by the legislature to find solutions to unemployment. In line with the state of emergency, which the House demands from the federal government.”
According to the report, Section 38 of the principal Act is amended by deleting the existing sub-section (4) (5) (6) and creating new sub-sections to provide strict measures to regulate the influx of foreigners in the labour market against the Nigerian interest.
“Notwithstanding any other provision in this section, this Bill or in any other enactment, no foreign National shall be granted a work permit in Nigeria unless the employer(s) has shown to the Comptroller General of Immigration that he has sought applications from qualified Nigerians in that same position for which the foreign national/expatriate is being employed and no Nigerian possesses the requisite knowledge or is willing to work in that area of specialization or interest. “
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