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Nigeria to start levying expatriate workers

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Nigeria’s President, Bola Tinubu, on Wednesday, launched the Expatriate Employment Levy (EEL), a government-mandated contribution imposed on employers who employ expatriate workers in Nigeria.

According to the launched EEL handbook, the levy seeks to balance the benefits of expatriate employment with the protection of Nigeria’s local labour markets and resources.

“As imported workforce continues to grow internally, the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) deemed it important to implement the EEL that seeks to balance economic growth, social equity, and workforce development,” it said.

The levy is mostly on the off-shore earnings of expatriates working in various industries including Construction, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Agriculture, Manufacturing, Oil & Gas, Telecommunication, Services, Banking and Finance, Maritime and Shipping and Healthcare.

It, however, exempts all accredited staff of Diplomatic Missions and government officials.

Employers are required to pay $15,000 for Directors and $10,000 for other categories of expatriates annually.

“Expatriate workers employed for duration not less than 183 days within a year, shall be liable to pay the EEL on an annual basis, the handbook stipulated, adding that the duration shall be calculable on aggregate and shall not be construed to mean 183 days or more spread over a period not exceeding one fiscal year.

Failure to comply with the provisions of the EEL, including inaccurate or incomplete reporting can lead to penalties.

“By virtue of Section 56(5) of the Immigration Act, 2015, any person (individual or corporate entity) who makes or causes to be made to an Immigration Officer, any return, statement or representation which he knows to be false or does not believe to be true shall be liable to imprisonment for a term of five (5) years or a fine of N1.000,000 or both.”

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Other penalties include three million naira for the failure of a corporate entity to file EEL within 30 days; and failure to register employees within 30 days amongst others.

The Nigerian Immigration Service, according to the handbook, will be responsible for enforcing the levy in line with the provisions of the Immigration Act, 2015 and the extant Nigeria Visa Policy.


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