By Michael Eboh
The Federal Government, Tuesday, vowed to intensify its monitoring activities and impose strict sanctions on companies found to be violating its laws concerning expatriates quota in the Nigerian petroleum industry.
In a statement in Abuja, the Federal Government stated that it had come to its attention that Manpower Supply Companies that had been issued Statutory Oil and Gas Industry Service Permits by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to supply ‘Nigerian Professionals Only’ are engaged by operators and contractors to supply expatriates in the Nigerian oil and gas industry, in clear breach of the guidelines.
The statement was signed by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Interior; Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Engr. Simbi Wabote; and Director/Chief Executive Officer of the DPR, Engr. Sarki Auwalu.
The government noted that the permits clearly forbid the deployment of expatriates under any circumstance or guise.
It said: “It is also disturbing that operators and major service providers promote this illegal practice by entering into contract agreements with these manpower supply companies to source expatriates for positions which in several cases had been denied quota and earmarked to be occupied by Nigerians. This practice circumvents laid down statutory approval processes and compliance requirements for obtaining Expatriate Quota Positions.
“Stakeholders in the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry are therefore to note the following: Companies (Operators, Service Providers among others) engaging manpower suppliers with permits for supply of “Nigerian Professionals Only” are to ensure that no expatriates are deployed under such manpower supply contracts under any guise (whether on EQ, TWP or other processes);
“Companies seeking to engage expatriates in the Nigerian Oil and Gas industry must ensure that they obtain the relevant approvals from NCDMB before applying for Expatriate Quota, TWP or other entry permits from Ministry of Interior, the Nigeria Immigration Service or other agencies of government;
“Companies deploying expatriates in the Nigerian oil and gas industry are to ensure full compliance with the guidelines and requirements of the Ministry of Interior and NCDMB including registration on the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Joint Qualification System (NOGICJQS) as well as biometrics enrolment of all expatriate personnel in their employment;
“NCDMB will intensify its monitoring and evaluation activities to identify companies violating the statutory provisions of the DPR manpower supply permits and perpetuating illegal expatriate deployments with a view to invoking appropriate sanctions and penalties as specified in the Immigration Act, 2015 and Immigration Regulation, 2017 as well as the NOGID Act; and
“Companies in the oil and gas sector intending to apply for Expatriate Quota Positions should submit and process their applications to the Board by registering and applying on the NOGICJQS portals.”