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Home News FG begins implementation of Expatriates Employment Levy on March 15, promises economic boost

FG begins implementation of Expatriates Employment Levy on March 15, promises economic boost

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…….FG begins implementation of Expatriates Employment Levy on March 15, promises economic boost

Nigeria is poised to roll out the Expatriates Employment Levy, a move expected to not only generate revenue but also promote local employment opportunities and skill development.

The levy, scheduled to commence on Friday, March 15th, 2024, comes as part of the government’s effort to bolster the nation’s economy and empower its workforce.

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President Bola Tinubu last Tuesday launched the EEL handbook in the Council Chamber of the State House in Abuja at a well-attended event that was graced by the Minister of Interior, Hon Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo and Chairman of the Senate Committee on Interior, Senator Adams Oshiomhole, among other dignitaries.

Initiated by the Federal Government before involving technical partners, the government now mandates companies employing expatriates in Nigeria to pay a levy per expatriate employee per annum.

This levy aims to encourage local hiring practices and investment in domestic talent while also fostering skill transfer from expatriates to Nigerian employees.

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The Ministry of Interior will oversee the initiative through its implementing agency-Nigeria Immigration Service [NIS].

In addition to the economic benefits, the levy is anticipated to address concerns surrounding the over-reliance on foreign expertise in various sectors.

By incentivizing the employment of local talent, the government aims to create a more sustainable and inclusive economy, reducing dependency on external sources for specialized skills.

The implementation of the Expatriates Employment Levy aligns with Nigeria’s broader economic agenda, which prioritizes indigenous capacity building and job creation.

It reflects a strategic shift towards fostering a conducive environment for local businesses to thrive and contribute to national development.

Furthermore, the levy is expected to provide a significant boost to government revenue streams, which can be allocated towards critical sectors such as education, healthcare, and infrastructure development.

This injection of funds has the potential to drive socio-economic progress and enhance the quality of life for Nigerians across the country.

Companies operating in Nigeria are urged to ensure compliance with the Expatriates Employment Levy requirements.

The deadline for compliance is set for Monday, April 15th, 2024.

Failure to adhere to the levy regulations may result in penalties or legal repercussions, emphasizing the importance of timely and accurate compliance.

As Nigeria prepares to implement the Expatriates Employment Levy, stakeholders across various sectors express optimism about its potential to catalyze positive change in the nation’s economy.

With a focus on promoting local talent and fostering sustainable growth, the levy represents a significant step towards achieving long-term prosperity and self-reliance for Nigeria and its citizens.

In recent years, Nigeria has witnessed a growing influx of expatriates into its workforce, driven by globalization, foreign investment, and specialized skills requirements.

To regulate this trend and ensure equitable opportunities for its citizens, the Nigerian government has decided to fully implement the EEL.

The EEL serves as a mechanism to encourage the recruitment and development of local talent.

By imposing levies on companies employing expatriates, it incentivizes organizations to prioritize the training and employment of Nigerian citizens.

This emphasis on local workforce development not only reduces dependency on foreign labour but also contributes to skill enhancement, job creation, and empowerment within the Nigerian community.

Revenue generated through the EEL will bolster the government’s financial capacity to invest in critical sectors such as education, healthcare, infrastructure, and social welfare programmes.

These investments will stimulate economic growth, enhance productivity, and create a conducive environment for sustainable development.

Additionally, by channeling funds into local initiatives, the EEL fosters entrepreneurship, innovation, and small business development, thereby nurturing a robust and diversified economy.

The presence of expatriates in key sectors facilitates the transfer of specialized skills, knowledge, and best practices to the local workforce.

Through mentorship, training programmes, and collaborative projects, Nigerian professionals have the opportunity to gain invaluable insights and expertise, which can enhance their competencies and competitiveness in the global marketplace.

This knowledge exchange not only enriches the skill pool within the country but also contributes to the overall development of human capital.

With this influx even low-skill jobs are being denied to Nigerian citizens, including chefs, restaurant, floor managers, supermarket shop floor salesmen, basic sales functions, bricklaying, roadworks, etc

The EEL serves as a regulatory mechanism to oversee the influx of expatriates and ensure compliance with labour laws and immigration policies.

By requiring companies to obtain permits and pay levies for employing foreign nationals, the government can monitor the quality and quantity of expatriate workers entering the country.

This oversight helps prevent abuse, exploitation, and unfair competition in the labour market, while also safeguarding the rights and interests of Nigerian workers.

In sectors such as oil and gas, construction, and telecommunications, where foreign expertise is often required, the EEL encourages companies to prioritize the utilization of local goods, services, and resources through the implementation of local content policies.

By promoting the participation of Nigerian businesses and professionals in major projects and contracts, the EEL fosters economic inclusion, industrialization, and value addition within strategic sectors, thereby reducing dependency on imports and foreign expertise.

The Expatriates Employment Levy in Nigeria is not merely a fiscal measure but a strategic tool for promoting national development, empowering the local workforce, and fostering economic self-reliance.

By prioritizing the recruitment, training, and retention of Nigerian talent, while facilitating skill transfer, knowledge exchange, and regulatory oversight, the EEL contributes to the creation of a more inclusive, competitive, and resilient economy.

As Nigeria continues to navigate the complexities of globalization and economic transformation, the EEL remains a vital instrument for shaping a prosperous and sustainable future for all its citizens.

Recall that at the launch of the EEL handbook in Abuja, President Tinubu had said that
“I’ve been further assured that the project has the capacity of plugging loopholes and gaps that have bedevilled the country in dealing with security challenges, movement of foreigners in and out of the country.

“Interestingly, this scheme will wield the dual fold of revenue generation as well as addressing employment challenges as salary gaps attendant in the remuneration of expatriate workers as compared with their Nigerian counterparts.:

The President, who lauded the Minister of Interior, Hon Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, for the various progressive innovations he had introduced into the job, earning the government accolades from home and abroad, described the EEL scheme as another game changer.

He expressed excitement over the various positive advantages of the scheme, including better employment opportunities for Nigerians with foreign companies and bridging of the wage gap between Nigerian employees and expatriates in foreign companies operation in Nigeria.

President Tinubu however warned that the operators of the scheme should be careful not to turn it into another bureaucratic bottleneck, which is capable of frustrating potential investors.

“I declare my support for the Expatriate Employment Levy scheme and I will continue to encourage the operators, practitioners of immigration matters and expatriate quotas, but don’t use it as a bottleneck, don’t use it to frustrate potential investors.

“There will be clear lines of implementation and effective acceleration of aims and objectives of this programme. Immigration matters and expatriate quotas, and relevant stakeholders, have to be effectively guided to make Nigeria the focus of the objective of this EEL. Therefore, it is my honour that the handbook of the Expatriate Employment Levy is hereby launched”, he said.

Earlier in his remarks, Minister of Interior, Tunji-Ojo, highlighted some of the features in the EEL scheme, built in to create employment opportunities and competitive advantages for Nigerian workers working in foreign companies in the country.

…….FG begins implementation of Expatriates Employment Levy on March 15, promises economic boost

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