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FG, Stakeholders Agree to Suspend Expatriate Employment Levy Implementation

The Minister of Interior, Hon. Dr. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, met with a delegation led by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mrs Doris Uzoka-Anite, to address concerns and seek clarification on the recently launched Expatriate Employment Levy (EEL) guidelines.

The aim of the meeting which held on Friday 8th March, 2024 in a Abuja was to foster constructive dialogue and explore ways to enhance the implementation of the policy while ensuring the welfare of Nigerians and promoting investment.

During the discussion, Dr. Tunji-Ojo stressed the Federal Government’s commitment to listening to stakeholders and engaging in meaningful dialogue.

He also noted the importance of striking a balance between attracting foreign investment and prioritising human capital development to benefit Nigerians.

“We understand the concerns raised by stakeholders, and we are committed to finding solutions that promote investment while safeguarding the interests of Nigerians,” the Minister said, adding that the EEL policy was initiated to discourage abuse of the Expatriate quota system and promote the development of the local workforce.

Dr. Tunji-Ojo further reiterated government’s focus on security and economic prosperity, emphasising the need for transparent and law-abiding business practices.

He assured stakeholders of the Ministry’s willingness to engage further and find mutually acceptable solutions.

In her remarks, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mrs. Uzoka-Anite, called for more collaboration between the government and private sector to ensure sustainable growth and create a conducive business environment.

“We are committed to working with stakeholders to address their concerns and create a win-win situation for investors and Nigerians. Through dialogue and collaboration, we can define clear guidelines that support economic growth and investment,” Uzoka-Anite stated.

Earlier, the President of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Hon. Dele Kelvin Oye, expressed concerns about the impact of the EEL policy on businesses.

He called for suspension of the policy to allow for further dialogue and consensus-building among stakeholders. However, it was resolved at the meeting that the implementation of the policy should be put on hold for further dialogue among stakeholders.

Other members of the delegation include: the President of the Petroleum Technology Association, the President of the Special Economic Zones Association, the Director General of The Nigerian Turkiye Business Council, the Head of the European Union Trade Delegation, the Chair of Digital Trade Group at NACCIMA, and representatives from the National Association of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (NASME).

The EEL guidelines, launched by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on 27th February 2024, aim to foster economic growth, nationalization efforts, knowledge transfer, and employment opportunities for Nigerians while closing wage gaps between expatriates and local workers.

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