CSO To FG: Implement The Expatriate Employment Levy In National Interest


The National Convener of Labour & Civil Society Coalition (LASCO), Comrade Tony Erha, has stressed the importance of retaining the Expatriate Employment Levy (EEL) in spite of the mounting pressure for its cancellation by some vested interest groups.

The EEL, together with the handbook, was launched on Tuesday, February 27, 2024, by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu in Abuja.

LASCO said the Federal Government, more than ever, need to prioritize policies that advance the interests of our nation and its people, stressing that the Expatriate Employment Levy is a cornerstone of such policies and should be upheld for the greater good of Nigeria.

Erha particularly advised the Federal Government not to capitulate to demand for its cancellation, adding that there are significant advantages the EEL brings to Nigeria’s economic landscape, stressing that those criticising it were doing so only for selfish reasons

A statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday against the backdrop of Federal Government’s decision to temporarily suspend the implementation of the EEL to allow for more stakeholders’ engagement, Erha pleaded for the retention of the levy.

The LASCO National Convener underscored the manifold benefits of the levy, emphasizing its pivotal role in income generation, employment provision for the nation’s youth, and the promotion of local content development.

The expatriate employment levy, a fee imposed on companies for hiring foreign workers, has recently been a subject of contention, with National Employers’ Consultative Assembly [NECA] and a couple of other interest groups opposing its implementation.

In the words of Erha; “Income generation is vital for the sustenance of any economy. The expatriate employment levy serves as a crucial source of revenue for the government, contributing to national development initiatives and infrastructure projects”.

Erha particularly underscored the role of the levy in addressing the issue of unemployment among Nigerian youth, saying that unemployment remains a pressing concern in our country, particularly among the youth.

He further said; “By incentivizing companies to prioritize local talent over foreign hires, the levy creates job opportunities for young Nigerians, thereby fostering youth empowerment and economic inclusion.

“The retention of the expatriate employment levy is instrumental in promoting job creation and reducing dependency on foreign expertise. The importance of nurturing local content development across various industries cannot be overemphasized.

“By levying a fee on the employment of expatriates, the government encourages companies to invest in local talent and skills development, ultimately fostering indigenous capacity-building and technological advancement.

“We must prioritize the development of our local workforce and industries. The expatriate employment levy incentivises companies to transfer knowledge and expertise to Nigerian workers, thus enhancing our capacity for innovation and economic self-reliance,” he said.

He adverted attention to the global context, pointing out that many other countries impose similar levies on expatriate employment thus, Nigeria is not alone in implementing such measures.

He further said; “Numerous countries around the world recognize the importance of regulating expatriate employment to safeguard their economies and promote indigenous workforce development.

He therefore urged the Federal Government to stand firm in its decision to implement the expatriate employment levy, after hearing out NECA and co, it’s critical role in revenue generation, youth empowerment, and local content development.

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