Kuwaiti oil companies could soon replace several expats with locals – reports

Some lawmakers believe local oil companies have favoured expatriate candidates over similarly qualified Kuwaiti jobseekers



Kuwaiti oil companies may soon be forced to replace several expat employees with Kuwaiti nationals, according to a local media report.

Some lawmakers believe local oil companies have favoured expatriate candidates over similarly qualified Kuwaiti jobseekers, local daily Kuwait Times reported.

A special committee formed by the parliament is set to investigate the issue, sources told the paper.

“Those appointments were made through agreements with contractors who filled in vacant positions with expats, which is against the government’s policy to nationalise jobs in various oil sectors,” the sources said.

The recently appointed CEO of Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) Hashem Hashem is also cooperating with the investigation, noting that “all the unlawful appointments and violations were made before he started his tenure and took the responsibility” in December 2018, the report added.

Recommendations submitted by the investigating committee would have to be implemented, the sources stressed.

“All illegal expat appointments will be terminated, and the government will have to dismiss expats and replace them with citizens holding the same degrees,” the sources said, adding that the terminations are expected to begin with expats in administrative positions.

The large number of foreigners in Kuwait, who account for around 70 per cent of the country’s 4.6 million population, has led to calls from some members of parliament for nationality quotas, higher fees and other restrictions.

Earlier this year, Kuwaiti MP Safa Al-Hashem claimed “importing” expatriates and offering them administrative jobs in the government was one of the main reasons for the high unemployment rate among Kuwaitis.

Also read: Kuwaiti MP reportedly receives ‘death threat’ for anti-expat remarks

Late last year, it was also reported that authorities in Kuwait are planning to reduce the number of foreign residents in the country by at least 1.5 million over the next seven years.

Read: Kuwait plans to ‘cut 1.5 million foreign residents’