April 14, 2024

We’ve Foreign Prisoners Working in Nigeria, Oshiomhole Reveals, as Edo Host Communities Accuses Chinese Firms of Exploitation

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Comrade Adams Oshiomhole

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By Reporter

The former Governor of Edo State and Senator representing Edo North, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, has raised the alarm that prisoners from foreign countries are working at construction sites in Nigeria.

Also, some communities in Edo State whose lands were collected by government and given to Chinese have cried out about the marginalization they are being subjected to by the different companies.

Oshiomhole made the revelation earlier in the week when the Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, appeared before the National Assembly Joint Committees on Interior to defend the ministry’s budget.

“Your ministry needs to regulate the issuance of the quotas very well as I have it on good authority that prisoners from foreign lands are working in Nigeria as construction workers.

“Many non-Nigerians are in the country, some of them live inside containers. 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 companies’ names, but if I’m provoked, I’ll mention them.”

In response to Oshiomhole’s revelation, the minister explained that his ministry had already come up with the Expatriate Employee Network aimed at safeguarding jobs meant for Nigerians from being stolen by expatriates.

He added that the ministry had raked in N1.195bn in revenue from the issuance of expatriate quotas from January to October this year, surpassing its N600m target.

He also said the N380m projected revenue from marriage registration was also surpassed by over N500m with N892.7m realised as of October 31.

It will be recalled that in June this year, that the Nigerian Labour Congress picketed Chinese Construction Company for dehumanizing Nigerian workers.

The NLC, protested at the premises of Chinese Construction Company, Shaanxi Construction Company at the New ECOWAS Secretariat, Airport Road, Lugbe over inhuman treatment and casualization of its members at the site.

The Protest spearheaded by the Construction Workers Union and the Nigerian Labour Congress with its Allied Unions were led by the NLC General Secretary, Comrade Emmanuel Ugbaja and leaders of the Construction Workers Union.

In Edo State, several Chinese Companies are alleged to involved in smuggling unregistered foreign nationals, including Chinese to work in factories.

Some members of their host communities told Midwest Herald that, the companies are depriving of them them that were promised.

A community youth member who works in a steel manufacturing company in Ogua village, near Benin City told Midwest Herald reporter that getting job with the company is as tough as “tread passing the needle’s eye.”

He explained that the only jobs available are the ones that the Asians cannot do or where the management is unable to find workers.

It was discovered that while all the Chinese staff and labourers earn expatriate salary, the local workers are paid as casual workers.

The story of a ceramic company in Utesi is not too different.

They have called on Edo State Government to investigate the companies to ensure that the terms of agreement, especially provision of jobs for the host communities are adhere to.

They have also invited the Federal Ministry of Internal Affair to investigate the smuggling of unskilled workers into workforce of the companies.

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