The Federal Government has identified Indorama Eleme Petrochemical Limited, International Business Machines West Africa, Stallion Motors Limited, Liaoning-Efacec Electrical Equipment Co. Nig. Ltd; and Total Nigeria Plc, for allegedly abusing the Expatriate Quota Positions in the country.
Other companies under investigation include AMNI, Sinohydro Zungeru Hydroelectric Power Project Company Limited, Alliance Nigeria Insurance Limited, Yinson West Africa Productions, Sevier Pharmaceutical Development Limited, Jaiz Metal Ltd., and Macha Design and Construction Ltd.
Specifically, the government accused the firms of engaging in EQP racketeering and violation of extant policies, rules and regulations on EQP.
The Ministry of Interior in a report to the National Assembly disclosed that the firms were being investigated by its Enforcement, Investigation and Inspection unit in collaboration with the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission and the National Assembly.
The report dated April 5, 2022, said a complaint was received from the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board on the alleged abuse of EQPs by AMNI Ltd. The board recommended sanctions and withdrawal of subsisting EQPs from the errant firm.
It said the inspection team visited the company but it had yet to make any submission, adding that a repeat visit would be made next within two weeks after which appropriate recommendations would be made to the permanent secretary and the interior minister for a final decision.
The ministry stated, ‘’It is important to state that various committees of the National Assembly forward letters to the Ministry of Interior to investigate the activities of some companies in the utilization of the approved Expatriate Quota Positions. This substantiates the need for the creation of the Enforcement, Investigation, and Inspection Unit in the C&B Department as requested by the Honourable Minister and the Permanent Secretary and as approved by the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation.
‘’Some of the companies being investigated by the Public Accounts Committee of the House of Representatives/ICPC through the Enforcement, Investigation & Inspection Unit are Indorama Eleme Petrochemical Limited; International Business Machines West Africa; Stallion Motors Limited; Liaoning-Efacec Electrical Equipment Co. Nig. Ltd; and Total Nigeria Plc.’’
The ministry revealed that Sinohydro Zungeru Hydroelectric Power Project Ltd. was reported for the racketeering of EQPs, adding that the company was alleged to have over 300 expatriates as against the 33 it claimed.
‘’The company evaded tax payment and (posed) a threat to the internal security of Nigeria. The company failed to defend the allegations or submit requisite documents,’’ the report further said, noting that the Nigeria Immigration Service arrested over 200 illegal expatriates at the firm on March 10, 2022.
The ministry observed that Alliance Insurance Company Limited violated various laws and regulations governing the approval and utilization of EQPs.
The report further said the company has no file with the ministry ‘’but has EQPs secured through fraudsters from 2011,’’ noting that the Investigation and Inspection Unit of the ministry is assessing the level of the infractions and would take appropriate decisions.
Yinson Operations and Production West Africa Limited were said to have smuggled 58 expatriates into its two floating production storage and offloading units without approval.
The report noted, “Sevier Pharmaceutical Development Limited, a multinational company incorporated on September 27, 2016, is in serious breach of EQPs abuse. The company does not have any record on the E-citibiz platform to show evidence of the initial Business Permits and EQPs.
‘’Since inception, the ministry automation system revealed that the company does not have its profile on the platform to indicate any EQPs approval by the ministry.
The investigation is ongoing to ascertain the circumstances surrounding the initial grant of Business Permit and EQPs to the company.’’
The government pointed out that Metal Works and Macha Design Ltd could not be located at their registered addresses at DeiDei, and Central District, both in Abuja and on the e-cibiz platform.
The report further said, “It is noteworthy that petitions about the abuse of EQPs are regularly submitted to the ministry with regard to violations of policies, programmes, rules and regulations that concern the internal security of the country.
‘’The existence of companies/organisations that have not obtained Business Permits or that engage the services of prohibited aliens is a challenge to the internal security of Nigeria, especially at this time when banditry, kidnapping and other vices are threatening the peaceful coexistences of the nation.
‘’Many stakeholders, organisations and professional bodies that are concerned about the security of Nigeria and negative impacts of illegal aliens have informed the Honourable Minister about abuses and racketeering of Expatriate Quota Positions.’’