14 August 2012

Nigeria: New Visa Regime Won't Compromise Our Security - Minister

Photo: Vanguard
About a quarter of working-age citizens are not in the labour force at all.

The Minister of Interior, Comrade Abba Moro, has that the new Visa regime will not compromise the overall security and economic considerations of the nation.

The Minister stated this, yesterday, while delivering a keynote address at the opening of a two-day stakeholders' conference on Expatriate Quota Administration, in Lagos.

Moro noted that the stakeholders' conference was timely, coming shortly after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) granted approvals for the automation project of Citizenship and Business Department of the Ministry and the new Visa policy for the Nigeria Immigration Service.

He said, "These, in themselves, underscore the fact that the Ministry is poised to transform itself to implement result-oriented programmes in the context of sustainable administration of expatriate quota and strengthening of the nation's economic base and our national vision.

"The Ministry of Interior has the responsibility of administering and enforcing the provision of the Immigration Act 1963 as they relate to the establishment of business in Nigeria and the employment of expatriates. It also issues business permit and expatriate quota facilities to any interested foreign investor to enable him/her set up business in Nigeria.

"The extant expatriate quota administration is premised on the Nigerianisation Policy of the 1970 which was based on the need to protect local industries and the interest of Nigerian citizens in these industries," he said.

He stressed that the conference will enable his Ministry to come up with recommendations to government on the formation of a more robust and contemporary expatriate quota policy that is line with the international best practices.

He also pointed out that the agenda of the conference would dwell on the need to articulate a compact between the Ministry of Interior and all relevant stakeholders on expatriate quota administration in the country.

"The automation project is to improve functionality and service delivery of the Citizenship and Business Department through operational effectiveness, improved revenue collection, and reduced transactional costs, faster response times, reduction in wastages and elimination of endemic fraud.

"This would enable government to have a complete database of expatriate employed nationwide and the Ministry will be better equipped to closely monitor labour absorption capacity of the economy, which is one of the key objectives of the administration," he added

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