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MAN, LCCI hail FG over expatriate levy suspension


MAN logo manufacturers Association of NigeriaThe Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise have commended the Federal Government over its decision to halt the implementation of the Expatriate Employment Levy.

The private sector advocacy groups, in different statements, lauded the Federal Government for listening to widespread calls which urged it to stay in action on the implementation of the new policy.

The Director-General of MAN, in a statement made available to Saturday PUNCH, said there was no doubt that the anxiety that enveloped the business community following the introduction of the levy had abated.

He added that the international business community, particularly those with whom the country had signed trade agreements, would also be reassured of its commitment to the creation of a congenial business environment

He said, “We acknowledge the important role of the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment. We equally recognise the support of the chairman of the Presidential Committee on Fiscal Policy and Tax Reform. Quite importantly, we commend the Minister of Interior for doing the needful in the interest of domestic and foreign private sector investors in Nigeria.”

On its part, the LCCI described the move to suspend the initiative as a proactive stance by the government in responding to the concerns of the business community and fostering a conducive environment for economic growth and development.

It said that by suspending the Expatriate Employment Levy, the Federal Government had demonstrated a willingness to engage with the business community and adapt policies to better align with economic realities.

It said, “The chamber views the suspension as a positive response to the grave concerns of the private sector as highlighted by the chamber and other private sector advocacy institutions last week.

“This act promotes cordial relationship between the government and the business community towards a better business environment. We urge the government at all levels to remain sensitive to the concerns of the private sector, to enhance the profitability and sustainability of businesses in Nigeria.”

Meanwhile, the Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise, in a statement signed by its Chief Executive Officer, Muda Yusuf, said the gesture by the government was a demonstration of the fact the Tinubu administration was responsive, democratic and inclusive in its governance process.

The CPPE said, “We really do not need a new policy, regulation or handbook on the employment of expatriates. A new regulation or policy will be superfluous. The current regulations or handbook could be tweaked, if necessary.”

The Expatriate Employment Levy, a new policy that was introduced by the Federal Government aimed to address wage gaps between expatriates and the Nigerian labour force while encouraging skills transfer and the employment of qualified Nigerians in foreign-owned companies.

The new levy was $10,000 for staff and $15,000 for directors, which represented a significant shift from the $2,000 paid by foreign nationals for the Combined Expatriate Residence Permit and Alien Card.

The introduction of the EEL had been met with strong criticism from members of the organised private sector, who argued that the policy may negatively affect foreign direct investments in the country.

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