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Visa ban: FG approves foreign professionals with skills lacking in Nigeria

The Director-General and Chief Executive Officer, National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion, Dr. Dan-Azumi Ibrahim, has disclosed that the Federal Government, through Executive Order 5, has restricted the issuance of visas to certain foreign professionals.

He added that only foreign professionals with skills lacking in Nigeria would get visa approval from the Ministry of Interior.

He said this in his address at a media chat on the public presentation of indigenous software for the implementation Of Executive Order 5.

Executive Order 5 was signed into law by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) on February 2, 2018, to promote local content in public procurement.

The NOTAP DG said, “The presidential Executive Order 5 for planning and execution of projects, promotion of Nigerian content in contracts on science, engineering, and technology, is aimed at ensuring that all procuring authorities shall give preference to Nigerian companies and firms in the award of contracts, in line with the Public Procurement Act 2007.

“The Executive Order No.5 also prohibits the Ministry of Interior from issuing visas to foreign nationals whose skills are readily available in Nigeria. In other words, the order will preclude foreigners from taking contract jobs that Nigerians have the competence and capabilities to handle. This is in a bid to not only protect and sustain the indigenous competencies but also to further build capacities as well as enhance their financial base.

“The President, in addition, directed Ministries, Departments, and Agencies to engage indigenous professionals in the planning, design, and execution of national security projects. He, however, noted that where expertise is lacking, procuring entities will give preference to foreign companies and firms with a demonstrable and verifiable plan for indigenous skills development prior to the award of such contracts.”

Executive Order 5 mandates NOTAP to develop, maintain, and regularly update a database of Nigerians with expertise in science, engineering, technology, and other fields of expertise.

The Ministry of Interior is expected to check this database to confirm that consideration is given to only foreign professionals with expertise that is not available in Nigeria at the point the contract is being awarded.

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