MAN Cries Out Over Expatriate Employment Levy (EEL), Wants It Discontinued


… says in the year 2023, 335 manufacturing companies became distressed and 767 shut down.

 The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) says it is deeply concerned over the Expatriate Employment Levy (EEL) and urged President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to give due consideration to this development by directing that the implementation of the exercise be discontinued.

It stated that this directive is in the overall interest of our national economy and is urgently needed to reassure the investing domestic and foreign investors of Nigeria’s commitment to an investment-friendly environment and ease of doing business.

“While we fully support policies aimed at promoting quality job opportunities for Nigerians, we would urge Mr. President to consider the wider negative impact of the Expatriate Employment Levy. A more effective and sustainable approach is for Government to intentionally improve on its human capital development and incentivize companies to invest in developing local talent without compromising Nigeria’s ability to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).”
“MAN advises that it is extremely important that the Government institutionalize stakeholders’ consultations and engagement before important policies that could have far-reaching implications for our economy are made. This will allow for constructive input from the business community who can support Government initiatives and are the most impacted by the outcomes,” the association stated.

The Association in a statement signed by it director-general, Segun Ajayi-Kadir stated that it is strucked with disbelief, seeing that the levy runs contrary to Mr. President’s Renewed Hope Agenda and the kernel of his Fiscal Policy and Tax Reform initiative.

“It is potentially an albatross to the realization of Mr. President’s private sector led economy aspirations and would certainly ruin the trust and confidence he is striving hard to build among domestic and foreign private investors.”

It said the unintended negative consequences on the manufacturing sector are humongous and cannot be accommodated at this time of evident downturn in our economy.

“As the major investors and employers in Nigeria, manufacturers believe that, while the levy is ostensibly primed to promote local employment, improve forex and non-oil income earnings, the levy will regrettably deter foreign direct investments, disincentivize domestic investors who have partnership with foreign investors and undermine knowledge transfers that are critical for Nigeria’s economic growth.”

“The imposition of EEL poses potential impact on the manufacturing sector and the economy at large. This will in turn mark an unwarranted and unprecedented addition to the cost of doing business in Nigeria, especially to manufacturers.”

The association stated that the manufacturing sector is already beset with multidimensional challenges.

In the year 2023, 335 manufacturing companies became distressed, and 767 shut down.

The capacity utilization in the sector has declined to 56%; the interest rate is effectively above 30%; foreign exchange to import raw materials and production machine inventory of unsold finished products has increased to N350 billion and the real growth has dropped to 2.4%. Expatriates in Nigeria currently pay more than $2000 for CERPAC. The sector cannot afford another disincentive to increased investment and portfolio expansion, the association stated

“MAN is concerned that the EEL contradicts our international trade agreements and the obligations contained therein. For instance, Nigeria is a signatory to the African Continental Free Trade Area [AfCFTA] agreement. One of the pillars of the AfCFTA is the free movement of skilled labour across the continent, which is complemented by non-discriminatory measures against fellow Africans.

“ Quite importantly, this could trigger retaliatory measures against Nigerians working across Africa and other nations of the world; frustrates regional integration efforts and portray Nigeria as a spoiler among her peers.

The policy will surely undermine the administration’s determination to position Nigeria as an attractive global investment destination and may engender a cold welcome in Mr. President’s future foreign investment promotions endeavors, as well as undermine our efforts at becoming a hub for shared services center and business process outsourcing.”

“MAN posits that the rather punitive levy which is already being perceived as a punishment imposed on investors for daring to invest in Nigeria and indigenous companies for employing needed foreign nationals. It will deter multinational companies from either investing in Nigeria or setting up regional headquarters in the country. Also, the levy will make Nigeria a more expensive location for global expertise that international companies require for their operations. Overall, we risk slowing down knowledge and skills transfer to Nigerians and undermining a key avenue for the country to move up the technology ladder.”


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