Expatriates Employment Levy Will Bolster National Security, Says CSO

National Convener of Labour & Civil Society Coalition (LASCO), Comrade Tony Erha, says the Expatriates Employment Levy [EEL] is a strategic move aimed at bolstering national security and protecting Nigeria’s pride and progress.

The 66-year-old activist and journalist stated in Abuja that the EEL, as conceived by the Federal Government with the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS),l as the implementing agency, had positive implications for the nation’s security architecture.

He explained that the initiative was empowered to enhance data collection capabilities by effectively strengthening the nation’s security architecture.

According to Erha: “Keeping meticulous tabs on every expatriate entering the country, the government can swiftly identify and address illegal activities, as well as ensure the safety and prosperity of Nigeria and its citizens.”

He also noted that illegal miners, a persistent threat to Nigeria’s natural resources and security, are among the prime targets of this initiative, given their preponderance, for instance, in the Zamfara mining field, where illegal mining activities have wreaked havoc on local communities and the environment.

According to him: “The Expatriates Employment Levy serves as a crucial tool for identifying and apprehending those operating outside the law.”

He referenced Oyo State, where illegal gold mining operations have posed significant challenges, saying “the implementation of this levy enables authorities to track down and dismantle illicit operations, and safeguard the state’s resources and economic stability.”

Erha added that “the EEL plays a pivotal role in combating threats posed by foreign entities prospecting lithium in sensitive areas like the Sambisa Forest, because by closely monitoring expatriate activity, the government can swiftly detect and neutralize any attempts to exploit Nigeria’s resources for nefarious purposes.

“By prioritizing security through the Expatriates Employment Levy, the Federal Government demonstrates its unwavering commitment to protect Nigeria’s sovereignty and promote sustainable development.

“This proactive approach not only safeguards the nation’s resources but also ensures a safer, more prosperous future for all Nigerians.”

Erha said that while the monetary benefits of the Expatriates Employment Levy were undeniable, “its true value lies in its ability to fortify Nigeria’s security infrastructure and preserve the nation’s pride and progress.

“Through enhanced data collection and rigorous enforcement, the government can effectively root out stop the influx or infiltration of illegal immigrants, check the likely attendant illegal activities, emplace a social audit system that captures the identities of immigrants into the country [which the EEL seeks to do through data collection] and thereby safeguard Nigeria’s future for this generation and future generations.”