- Malaysia to Commence Major Crackdown on Illegal Immigrants
Malaysia’s Immigration will commence major crackdown on illegal immigrants tomorrow, August 31, the first under the current administration.
The amnesty program introduced by the Pakatan Harapan government, which enables illegal immigrants to pay a Rm 300 (US$99.70) fine and then pay another Rm 100 fee for a special pass allowing them to return home, will end today, (August 30).
But local manufacturers and business owners say they are worried that the “uncertainty” over the foreign worker policy may hurt their ability to manage operations.
There were more than 1.7 million foreigners working in Malaysia legally at the end of June last year, but with estimates that a further one million or more, are working in the country illegally.
It is this large undocumented group that is the target of the government’s occasional crackdowns.
Malaysia is a magnet for migrant workers from countries such as Indonesia, Nepal and Bangladesh due to the ease of getting jobs and a largely lax immigration enforcement.
These workers help to construct high-rise towers, pluck palm oil fruits and harvest vegetables in plantations, clean malls and offices, and guard residential areas.
Immigration director general Mustafar Ali said : “The amnesty deadline will not be extended. We will intensify our operations against illegal immigrants starting on Friday.
“We have given them ample time to sign up for the programme.
“Illegal immigrants are still heading to our offices around the country in a bid to obtain amnesty and return home.”
Datuk Seri Mustafar said the operations against illegal immigrants are an ongoing process with some 9,208 raids conducted between January and Aug 15.
“We have arrested 28,063 illegal immigrants and 799 employers so far.
“Starting tomorrow (Friday), our efforts will only increase as we aim to free the country of illegal immigrants,” he said.
From 2014 until Aug 1 this year, some RM400 million in fines have been collected from over 840,000 migrants who worked or overstayed in Malaysia.
They were expatriated at their own cost under the amnesty programme, Mr Mustafar said.
Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers president Soh Thian Lai said local manufacturers might face difficulties in coping with client orders if the uncertainty over foreign workerremained unresolved.
The government over the years has vacillated between throwing out all foreigners who work in Malaysia without proper documents, to offering long amnesty periods to allow employers to register their workers.
The previous Barisan Nasional government allowed for an extension of three years for foreign workers who had 10 years experience, but the Pakatan Harapan government has dropped this rule.
Said Datuk Soh: “Insufficient supply of foreign workers could affect output and businesses, especially those with experienced workers. Foreign workers with set skills and experience would be difficult to replace.”
Datuk Michale Kang, president of SME Association of Malaysia that represents small and medium sized enterprises, said the association has received many complaints from members.
“SMEs in the manufacturing sector will be the ones affected badly. With fewer workers and no new solution and policy in sight, they may not be able to cope with their orders in the coming months,” he said.
“The amnesty programme is ending, but what is the new system or policy in place? The new government said it would come out with a policy to address the foreign labour issue so that it will not affect the economy.”
Bandits Kill Six, Abduct 15 in Niger LGs
Bandits Kill Six, Abduct 15 in Niger LGs
Again, bandits have killed six persons and kidnapped 15 others in renewed attacks on communities in two local government areas of Niger State.
One of those killed was at Pandogari town in Rafi Local Government Area, where five people were abducted, while the remaining five were murdered in Gurmana in Shiroro Local Government Area of the state. Ten persons were kidnapped in this incident.
Both incidents took place Thursday night, according to an eyewitness who spoke to newsmen.
Apart from those killed or kidnapped, a large number of villagers were injured in the stampede that followed the activities of the gunmen and are presently receiving treatment at medical centres in the two local government areas.
“This thing has become a daily occurrence,” a disappointed top government official told the press on condition of anonymity.
“The attacks are creating daily IDPs and social problems for the state,” the official added.
Five persons were killed, while eight others were kidnapped in separate bandits’ attacks on Anwar Mahogi and Rsfingora communities of Rafi Local Government Area of the state also on Thursday.
Several cattle were said to have been rustled in the raid.
One of those killed in Angwar Mahogi was Dauda Daniel, a graduate of the Federal College of Education, Kontagora, who was said to be planning for his wedding slated for March 6, this year.
While the attack lasted, eyewitnesses said that a helicopter hovered in the skies apparently giving cover to the bandits.
There have been no response to calls made to the Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Wasiu Abiodun, for confirmation of the incidents.
Lagos Gov to Shut Down Third Mainland Bridge this Friday
Lagos Gov to Shut Down Third Mainland Bridge this Friday
The Lagos State Government will shut down the Third Mainland Bridge for 24 hours from midnight Friday, February 26th to midnight Saturday.
The Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Frederic Oladeinde who made this known in a statement issued on Wednesday, said the total closure of the bridge is to enable the contractors move the equipment used during the rehabilitation process off the bridge and allow both the Oworonshoki and Adeniji bound lanes open fully to traffic.
Oladeinde therefore, advised motorists approaching the bridge from Ogudu, Alapere and Gbagada to use Ikorodu Road, Jibowu and Yaba, as alternative routes, while Iyana Oworoshoki-bound traffic from Lagos-Island, Iddo, Oyingbo, Adekunle and Yaba are to use Herbert Macaulay Way, Jibowu and Ikorodu Road as alternative routes.
The Commissioner assured that traffic management personnel would be deployed along the affected routes to minimize and address any traffic impediments during the closure.
Commending Lagosians for their cooperation during the prolonged repair works of the Bridge, the Commissioner assured that the bridge is now safe for use by all and sundry.
FSD Africa Partnership Aims to Safeguard and Leverage Investment for Small and Medium-sized African Businesses
The four co-operation agreements signed between FSD Africa and the African Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (AVCA) and East Africa Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (EAVCA) and Southern Africa Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (SAVCA) and the Private Equity and Venture Capital Association Nigeria (PEVCA) will help to ensure local expertise and tailored delivery for regional and country mandates.
FSD Africa today announces the signing of co-operation agreements with AVCA, EAVCA, SAVCA and PEVCA to coincide with the launch of the Africa Private Equity and Private Debt Programme. The programme is a new initiative to support the development of private capital markets in Africa as a complement to public capital markets. It will work to improve the long-term financing options available for businesses across key sectors in Africa’s economy, including healthcare, climate and agriculture.
Access to long-term finance has continued to be a challenge for small and medium-sized businesses across the continent. The economic impact of COVID-19 has only exacerbated the strain on Africa’s formal public markets aiming to provide long-term finance options to businesses desperately in need of capital. This alongside increased risk averseness by lending institutions has left few options for SMEs to access long term financing, in many cases resulting in business closures and job losses.
Through the Africa Private Equity and Private Debt Programme FSD Africa aims to leverage various tools including grants, technical assistance, advocacy and investment capital to support the growth of private capital markets. The partnership aims to support growth in a way that is uniquely African in character, tailored to the local context and delivering long term financing options for SMEs.
FSD Africa, AVCA, EAVCA, SAVCA and PEVCA will work with policymakers, regulators, industry associations, institutional investors and other market operators to encourage and advocate for changes that promote increased flow of institutional capital into private capital markets. Through the programme FSD Africa and its partners will seek to create a knowledge sharing environment by working with regulators to put in place regulatory provisions and/or incentives, build capacity and understanding of relevant market stakeholders.
Mark Napier, CEO at FSD Africa, said:
“Supporting the development of private equity and private debt markets in Africa will provide a boost to small and medium-sized businesses and local economies. We believe this will be greatly welcomed in the short term, ensuring that more jobs are saved, but it will also provide long-term benefits and improve access to capital. Globally, there has been a secular shift towards private capital markets and it is appropriate that, as part of our response to COVID-19, we pay enough attention to the development of private markets, allowing for more local capital to be channelled into essential sectors including health, agriculture and climate.”
Evans Osano, Director, Capital Markets at FSD Africa, said:
“By encouraging long-term investment capital to Africa’s private sector, real impact can be delivered, including creating and sustaining jobs, and increasing access to services like healthcare. We urge local investors, regulators, and other relevant individuals to come forward to be a part of this programme and look forward to working with them on this exciting next step.
Ify Ossi, Executive Secretary, PEVCA, said:
With the unprecedented economic shocks brought on by the pandemic, the case for mobilizing private capital in our clime has become more evident. In the face of the huge funding gap and growth lag facing sectors across Nigeria, long-term access to local financing coupled with structural adaptations, were necessary, are key to our economic growth and sustainability. Interventions that address industry gaps and challenges must be both private sector and policy driven guided by suitable strategic partnerships and alliances, among other factors. We are excited about PEVCA’s partnership with FSD Africa, particularly its pan African approach towards capital market development, and look forward to jointly facilitating solutions for our industry.
Tanya van Lill, CEO, SAVCA, said:
“SAVCA is looking forward to partner with FSD Africa on this initiative to support the development of private capital markets in Africa. This Programme has the potential to unlock much needed catalytic capital for businesses and industries that have the potential to not only create and preserve jobs, but also contribute to much needed economic growth given the impact of COVID-19.“
Eva Warigia, Executive Director, EAVCA, said:
“For the EAVCA, FSD Africa is a natural partner given their in-depth knowledge of local markets. We see this as a strategic partnership that will advance EAVCA’s commitment to increase local participation in financing private business- both mature and early stage- in East Africa by providing alternative sources of capital”.
Abi Mustapha-Maduakor, CEO, AVCA, said”
“In addition to facilitating greater inflow of private investment to the continent, advocacy is at the centre of our work at AVCA. This collaboration with FSD Africa is timely, and I look forward to working with our colleagues at EAVCA, SAVCA and PEVCA to support investors, businesses and governments in their efforts to strengthen Africa’s economy over the coming years.”
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