The Minister of Interior in Nigeria has revoked the visa, work permit, and residence permit of Roger Brown, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Seplat Energy Plc. Brown’s removal from the country is based on allegations of racism, favoritism towards foreign workers, and discrimination against Nigerian employees. These allegations were leveled against him by the employees of the company.
According to sources, the Federal Government accused Brown of being in possession of a Combined Expatriate Residence Permit and Aliens Card (CERPAC) that was not based on a valid Expatriate Quota. The CEO failed to honor invitations by the Ministry’s panel that investigated the matter, which led to his removal.
Roger Brown is a British citizen who joined Seplat in 2013 as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO). He was appointed as the company’s CEO in November 2019 and assumed office in 2020. However, his stay in the country has been revoked by the Nigerian government, citing his actions as being contrary to national interest
In a letter titled “Withdrawal of Work Permit, CERPAC, Visa/Residence Permit of Mr. Roger Thompson Brown – CEO, SEPLAT Energy Plc,” which was signed by Akinola M. Adesina, Director 2, Citizenship and Business for the Honorable Minister and addressed to the chairman of the board of directors of SEPLAT, the Minister of Internal Affairs announced Brown’s removal.
The letter stated that the Ministry had received a petition from the Solicitor to the concerned workers and stakeholders of Seplat Energy PLC accusing Brown of various allegations. These allegations include racism, favoring foreign workers, and discriminating against Nigerian employees. Several witnesses testified and supported these accusations. Despite two invitations to attend the panel, Roger T. Brown declined and claimed to be unavailable, even though he was in Abuja for other purposes at the time.
The investigation by the Ministry revealed that Mr. Brown was in possession of a CERPAC that was not based on a validly issued Expatriate Quota approved by the Ministry of Interior, resulting in the violation of relevant Immigration Laws and Regulations.
The outcome of the legal proceedings instituted against Seplat Energy Plc by some concerned stakeholders is yet to be determined. However, the revocation of Brown’s work permit, visa, and residence permit serves as a warning to all foreign investors that they must conduct their business activities in Nigeria ethically and in accordance with Nigerian laws and regulations.
It is imperative that foreign investors respect Nigerian labor laws and protect the rights of Nigerian workers. The Nigerian government’s decision to revoke Brown’s permit sends a clear message to all foreign investors that they must adhere to the country’s laws and regulations. It also shows the Nigerian government’s commitment to protecting the interests of its citizens and ensuring that foreign investment does not come at the expense of Nigerian workers’ rights.
In the long run, it is hoped that this move by the Nigerian government will improve the working conditions and treatment of Nigerian workers by foreign companies operating in the country. This will not only benefit Nigerian workers but also help to attract more foreign investment to the country.
In conclusion, the revocation of Roger Brown’s visa, work permit, and residence permit by the Nigerian Minister of Interior has highlighted the issue of foreign investment and the treatment of Nigerian workers in the country.