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Immigration parade

Nigerians hail Immigration on arrest of over 30 ZTE expatriate staff without work permits

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More Nigerians have welcomed the quick action of the operatives of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) for swooping into action on getting reports about large number of Asians  working for ZTE Nigeria without work permits. Over 30 foreign nationals mainly Asians were arrested during the raid in Lagos.

The company is a telecoms service provider working for several other major GSM and CDMA services providers in fibre optic cabling and related services.

It would be recalled that earlier in the week, NIS invaded the Osborne head office of the Chinese company and arrested more than 30 expatriates who were said to have been working in Nigeria for months after the expiration of their Business Visas.

According to international best practices, when Business Visas expire, the foreigner is expected to approach the Immigration office for work permit which the arrested Chinese failed to do, thus leading to their arrests by the federal agency.

Trouble started last week when the company sacked hundreds of better qualified Nigerian experts and replaced them with foreigners who are without work permits

An Immigration officer who spoke to our correspondent on grounds of anonymity said “the enforcement team had moved into action by swooping on ZTE Nigeria office at Osborne quarters, Ikoyi and left with bus loads of illegal workers”.

“We took about 30 of them for questioning and latter released five who have the necessary documents. I think at the end of our investigations, defaulting ones will be charged to Court for breaches on immigration laws and regulations

Some Nigerians who spoke to our correspondent on the matter said NIS has shown that it is no more business as usual with the move to sanitise how Chinese do their business in Nigeria without relevant documentation of their nationals.

A former worker who was shortchanged with the arrested expatriates said “What particularly impressed me and other Nigerians about the quick response provided by NIS were that there was no additional push for them to act. It appears it was the team’s extraordinary commitment to excellence in service provision in apparent realignment to Governments change agenda and whistle blowing policy”.

Another former staff added that “On the hindsight though, NIS management should by this singular commendable act, ride on with the momentum to put measures in place to actively checkmate the influx of illegal immigrant as they always say, prevention is better than cure and the NIS would be seen to have contributed their quota towards national development.

“After all, our biggest assets are our human resources and what better way to harness human capital development than by ensuring our well educated Nigerian youths gets the jobs that they deserve and not some illegal immigrant denying our government of much needed IGR in the midst of a dwindling revenue from oil.

He said “I believe that NIS truly deserves to be congratulated for improved services beyond the expectations of many. Thumbs up NIS”


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