Foreign prisoners are taking the jobs of Nigerians – Oshiomhole

Sharon EboesomiDecember 6, 20233 min

The former labour leader says the government must scale up efforts to address unemployment as prisoners from other countries have made matters worse by taking up jobs meant for Nigerians 

Senate budget defence

Chairman of the Senate Committee on Interior, Adams Oshiomhole (APC, Edo North) has lamented the high unemployment rate in the country, which he linked to the number of foreign prisoners who get into the country under false pretences, pose as tourists, and take up legal employment.

Oshiomhole made this statement while speaking at the 2024 budget hearing with the Joint Committee on Interior which was held on Wednesday, December 6, 2023.

This was prior to the Minister of interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo’s plea for more funds to empower the immigration service to tackle illegal migration.

READ ALSO: Tunji-Ojo calls for more funds to secure Nigeria’s borders

Oshiomhole said: “We see a number of people who are not supposed to be here. I see people selling local furniture. I see people selling radios and televisions in Abuja here and some of them live inside containers. 

“I even believe, I dare say publicly, that there are prisoners who are working in Nigeria, foreign prisoners, who are shipped to Nigeria to serve their prison terms, pay a minimum wage and you will find them in the construction company.

“Prisoners are not expected to work in their country if the product or whatever they’re engaging in is meant to be exported. But in this country today, there are people, for you to know that they are prisoners, look at where they sleep. They live in containers. And they are more from a particular country than some other ones.

“We have to find courage, even if they borrow us money, they should not take away our sovereignty. And they must not distort our commitment to creating jobs at home. And there are many who come here as tourists. If you look at their visa, tourists. They don’t have work permits, and they are working completely illegally while Nigerians are being harassed not only in Africa but outside Africa,” he added.

Speaking further, he urged the Ministry of Interior to immediately get rid of such people in the country in order to create more opportunities for the unemployed citizens.

So I’m only saying you have a new task to get rid of them and I do understand that the more the economy expands of course it means more hands. Although it is arguable with the aid of technology to achieve higher growth without more humans.

“If we can’t create new jobs, which is bad enough because we can’t stop our people from producing more babies, then we can at least stop people from stealing our jobs.”

Sharon Eboesomi

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