Expert Speaks As Tinubu Listens Suspends Controversial N20m Annual Tax on Expatriate Workers

The Tinubu-led administration has paused its plan to introduce an Expatriate Employment Levy (EEL) for businesses in Nigeria employing foreign workers....READ FULL ARTICLE earlier reported that the federal government announced companies would pay an annual levy of $15,000 (about N20 million) for a director and $10,000 (N15 million) for other workers.

The decision by the federal government was met with widespread condemnation from economists and private organisations. The Ministry of Interior announced the suspension of the employment levy on X, formerly Twitter.

According to the ministry, the levy would be paused for “dialogue among stakeholders”. The decision comes after a meeting was held to discuss the levy on Friday, March 8, 2024, in Abuja.

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However, the ministry explained that the tax was intended to discourage abuse of the Expatriate quota system and promote the development of the local workforce.

In reaction to the Nigerian government’s decision, Muda Yusuf, the Chief Executive Officer, praised the government for suspending the implementation of the contentious EEL.

He noted that the gesture is a demonstration of the fact the Tinubu administration is responsive, democratic and inclusive in its governance process. Yusuf, however, called on them to revisit the Nigeria Immigration Act and the Expatriate Quota Handbook to address what it is trying to do with EEL.

His words:

“There are already extant laws and regulations within the framework of the Nigeria Immigration Act and the Expatriate Quota Handbook that squarely addresses the outcomes contemplated in the EEL.

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“The handbook is robust and comprehensive and covers the critical issues of technology transfer, localization of jobs, and restrictions of some categories of expatriates from entry into the country, based on current skill gaps.

“There is also the National Content Act and the Presidential Executive orders three and five which focusses on localization of procurement and service opportunities.

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 needs to be addressed.

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“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. ”

Meanwhile, in another report, revealed that Canada has released a list of job categories that will receive priority for the Express Entry visa.

The list includes teaching and plumbing, among several other professions, as the country focuses on meeting labour market demands and bridging the gap in these professions.

Skilled foreign workers in the priority job categories will have a higher chance of getting a visa through the Express Entry system....READ FULL ARTICLE

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