21st October 2019
The Hon. Minister of Interior
With pains in our hearts, we write to seek your urgent intervention in protecting jobs meant for Nigerians.
For the past four years, there have been quite some projects in the oil and gas industry of our economy that could have provided job for us fitters and other skilled workers like the welders, erectors, scalfolders and the rest which ultimately would have lifted the living standard of Nigerians with all its multiplier effects. But it is so sad to note that, while the government celebrates the success of these projects as boost to the economy, the volume of Nigerians employed is not considered.
For example, Samsung Heavy Industries handled EGINA project for Total Nigeria Unlimited wherein part of the fabrication was done at LADOL in Lagos. It might interest you to know that over 80% of Fitters and other skilled labour employment was given to foreigners. Every effort to get Nigerians employed never saw the light of the day.
Similarly, the much celebrated Dangote fertilizer plant and Petroleum Refinery Project taking place at Lagos have foreigners doing almost every job to the detriment of Nigerians who are ably qualified but not considered for employment. All effort to reverse this ugly trend through the Nigerian Content and Monitoring Board, National Assembly and others failed to address this unfortunate situation.
Presently, Sterling Global Oil company operates an LPG project in Kwale Delta state which has employed about 500 persons out of about 350 are fitters and welders, but sad to note that only one fitter and 2 welders are Nigerians; The rest are foreigners.
Like the previous ones our effort in trying to have a meeting on how qualified Nigerians can be employed is failing as they are displaying utmost disregard and impunity.
However, whenever government functionaries schedule visit to the site, the management will always hide these foreigners in their offices within the yard and hire some persons who they will present as Nigerians that are doing the work. Unfortunately, those government officials visiting never care to know from the unions’ leadership if the required personnel are employed. A case in point is the delegation of government that came on 17th October 2019.
We got to know about the government visitation when our members noticed management hiding these foreigners in offices within the yard and decided to inform the visiting team the activities of the company. Regrettably the visiting team refused to listen to us and left with the impression that foreigners are not on site.
Sir, this sad development needs your urgent attention and intervention. You need to find out the information given before permits were granted these foreigners? Did they genuinely enter this country? What is the rationale for preference to foreigners when there are ably qualified Nigerians? Much more Sir, who are the individuals and officers responsible for this gross violation of our statutes?
Is this in agreement with the executive Order No 5 of the president of the federal republic of Nigeria?
If this is not economic sabotage and deliberate disregard of the policies and programmes of the federal government then we do not think any other actions falls within this category.
We think that it is important that those who habitually undermines our nation are checked and brought to book speedily and we know that as a comrade, these actions rankles your mind and runs counter to your well-known principles and values.
We suggest you organize a surprise visitation to that company in conjunction with the Unions and the community to see things for yourself.
While we anticipate your timely intervention, we thank God for bringing you to this Ministry!
COMRADE MORRISTER IDIBRA