NECA, CPPE commend FG’s suspension of $15,000 expatriate employment levy

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Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) and Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise (CPPE) have commended the federal government for putting on hold the implementation of the Expatriate Employment Levy (EEL).

The government recently announced $15,000 and $10,000 levy on companies employing expatriates as directors and staff, respectively.
But several protests forced the government to announce on Friday that it had suspended the implementation of the levy.

Director General of NECA, Mr. Adewale-Smatt Oyerinde, said, “We commend the Minister of Interior and the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment for their roles in putting the EEL on hold.


“While we appreciate the objectives of the scheme and the need to address gaps in the management of expatriate employment in Nigeria, the decision by the government is nothing short of genuine concern for the plight of organised businesses.

“This has further affirmed President Bola Tinubu’s administration as a listening one. The speed of response to organised businesses’ concern was commendable and worthy of note.”
Oyerinde emphasised the need to deepen engagements between the government and the private sector, and stated that the sector was always ready for any meeting to discuss the issues.

“We urge an inclusive engagement with members of the Organised Private Sector of Nigeria (OPSN) with the view of harvesting workable solutions and options for a win-win position for the economy and the private sector,” he stressed.

Similarly, yesterday, Chief Executive Officer of CPPE, Mr. Muda Yusuf, said the suspension of EEL was a demonstration of the fact that the Tinubu administration was responsive, democratic and inclusive in its governance process.
“It shows that the administration is a listening government. Responsiveness to the concerns of stakeholders is a critical attribute of true democracy,” Yusuf stated.

Yusuf, however, stressed that there were already extant laws and regulations within the framework of the Nigeria Immigration Act and the Expatriate Quota Handbook that squarely addressed the outcomes contemplated in EEL.
He said, “What needs to be done differently is to strengthen the institutional and regulatory effectiveness in the Ministry of Interior and the Immigration Service to ensure compliance and enforcement.

“The truth is that relevant institutions have over the years been considerably compromised. These are the gaps that need to be addressed.
“We really do not need a new policy, regulation or handbook on the employment of expatriates. A new regulation or policy will be superfluous. The current regulations or handbook could be tweaked, if necessary.”
Yusuf pointed out that evidence of regulatory weaknesses was visible from the numerous instances of expatriates operating in the retail sector in the open markets, competing with Nigerian market women and men.

He stated, “We surely do not lack expertise in retail trading. But we have seen cases of some expatriates taking up shops in our traditional markets. Many of our indigenous traders in the markets have been displaced by these expatriates because they cannot compete with them.

“There are similar concerns expressed by our indigenous retailers in the computer and electronics, textiles and fabrics, and fashion accessories, where expatriates are competing with them at the retail end of the market.

“Some of these companies dominate the entire value chain as manufacturers, distributors and retailers. These are some of the issues that need to be addressed by the immigration service and the ministry of interior.

“Competition with our struggling market women and men is clearly an unfair competition.”