NECA Raises Alarm Over Expatriate Employment Levy, Warns of Potential Investment Deterrence in Nigeria

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The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) has raised concerns over the Ministry of Interior’s expatriate employment levy, warning that it could discourage investment in the country. NECA criticized the levy, suggesting that certain regulations should be established before imposing such a tax.

According to NECA’s Director-General, Adewale-Smatt Oyerinde, the new levy, ranging from $10,000 to $15,000 on employers of expatriates, contradicts the government’s fiscal and monetary reforms and may deter foreign direct investment (FDI), labeling it as exploitative and extortionist.

Expressing support for the development of the local workforce, NECA emphasized its commitment to promoting skills transfer, technical skills development, and employment generation.

However, NECA voiced concerns about the potential negative consequences of the Ministry of Interior’s initiative, particularly the imposition of the expatriate employment levy during a period when businesses are facing closures and leaving the country.

The organization highlighted the risk of increased unemployment and adverse socio-economic effects if the levy is implemented.

NECA raised legal and appropriateness concerns regarding the expatriate employment levy, pointing out that the Ministry of Interior cannot impose a tax or levy without appropriate legislation.

Adewale-Smatt Oyerinde cited constitutional requirements and existing legislations, such as the Local Content Act and Immigration Act, which already address the objectives outlined in the Expatriate Employment Levy (EEL) Handbook.

He stressed that the imposition of additional levies is unnecessary and could impede the ease of doing business in Nigeria.In conclusion, NECA urged the government to strengthen existing regulatory institutions managing expatriate employment instead of introducing additional levies.

The organization advocated for fiscal incentives to enhance investment attractiveness, support business stability, and prioritize measures facilitating ease of doing business.

Emphasizing the importance of collaboration between the government and the private sector, NECA called for alternative revenue streams and dialogue to promote wealth creation and a responsive regulatory framework in line with existing laws.

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