The Federal Government has revealed that it granted 12,000 expatriate quota licences to foreigners seeking to work in Nigeria, treating 2,000 applications from companies in two years.

This was disclosed in a statement by the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola on Friday, in Abuja, after his participation on the second day of the 6th edition of the Annual Kaduna Economic Investment, (KADINVEST), in Kaduna.

The Minister also disclosed that since inception, the ministry has handled 14,690 companies and granted 126,893 quota licences to expatriates.

“From August 2019 till date, we have registered more than 2,000 companies, while over 12,000 expatriates have been given permits to work in Nigeria.

“We now handle applications with dispatch and will encourage any firm or organisation with genuine need for expatriates to bring their applications. We shall accord it the required courtesy,” Aregbesola said.

He also added that In spite of the challenges Nigeria is facing, the country is still an investor’s dream.

“Where there is abundant raw materials, highly skilled and affordable workforce and the largest market for goods and services in Africa. The return on investment has always been mouth-watering,” the minister said.

He commended the Kaduna state government, the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) and the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), for organising the summit as well as choosing the theme, ‘Towards a sustainable knowledge-based economy.’

He urged Nigerian businesses to focus on knowledge-based applications, adding that the introduction of machines and factory systems that enabled mass production of goods have unleashed economic prosperity on the industrialised nations.

“Under competitiveness, companies with natural advantages can be bested by the ones with innovation, superior technology and superior knowledge of production, marketing and transportation factors that will combine to produce more qualitative goods at cheaper prices.

“This is actually a knowledge-driven economic system in which knowledge is the dominant factor of production,” the minister said.