Foreigners stifling small businesses in Nigeria–Dambazau
The Minister of Interior, Abdulrahmam Dambazau on Tuesday urged the National Assembly to come up with legislations that will define businesses foreigners living in Nigerian can engage in.
The minister made the call when members of the House of Representatives Committee on Interior visited the Ministry in Abuja. Dambazau expressed the ministry’s commitment to addressing the issue of foreigners overstaying their time in the country. He decried the connivance of some Nigerians with illegal immigrants to engage in various illegal commercial ventures and perpetrate crime in the society.
According to Dambazau, some Nigerians go up to the level of renting out their shops to these foreigners as well as cover their illegal activities. “The ministry is looking into a proposal by the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) to give amnesty to illegal migrants for them to come out and register. “We are also looking at the implications of people taking advantage of ECOWAS free movement. “This has led to proliferation of light weapons and drugs; some of them are cloning remita, receipts and expatriate certification,” The Minister said.
Earlier, a member of the committee, Rep. Garba Mohammed (Kano-APC) expressed worry that some foreigners were taking over small scale businesses in many parts of the country. “For instance in Kano some of the foreigners have taken over the business of dying clothes. “This must be addressed because they are succeeding in taking away our businesses.
“Our artisans and craftsmen are out of job and if this continues, there will be no hope for them in the next 20 years,” Mohammed said. In his remark, the Chairman of the Committee, Rep. Adams Jagaba, said that the committee was mandated by the House to investigate alleged abuse of expatriate quota by some immigration personnel. “So we need the cooperation of this ministry to succeed in this task because if the trend is not checked, our heritage will be taken away,” Jagaba said.