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CSO faults EU’s position on Nigeria’s Expatriate Employment Levy

The national convener of Labour and Civil Society Coalition, Tony Erha, has faulted the European Union’s position on the Expatriate Employment Levy (EEL) launched by…

The national convener of Labour and Civil Society Coalition, Tony Erha, has faulted the European Union’s position on the Expatriate Employment Levy (EEL) launched by President Bola Tinubu on February 27.

The EU had expressed concern that the manner in which the policy came up would erode investors’ confidence in the system.

But in a statement Tuesday, Erha alleged that the EU overlooked the necessity and rationale behind the introduction of the EEL in Nigeria. 

He said the Head of Cooperation at the Delegation of the EU to Nigeria, Massimo De Luca, who raised the concerns at the fourth session of the steering committee of the support programme for Fiscal Transition in West Africa (PATF) in Abuja, failed to realise that the levy was a strategic measure to promote local employment opportunities and address challenges related to expatriate employment.

Erah stated: “The disparity in wages between expatriates and local workers is ridiculous, whereas immigrant workers, particularly in some European countries, often earn significantly lower wages, even when qualified, compared to other cadres of employees.”

“In Nigeria, however, many expatriates rather contribute to economic disparities and hinder the development of indigenous talent, while the minimum wage, which immigrants predominantly earn in European countries, is notably low, raising concerns about the fairness and equity of the employment landscape.

“We need a context-specific policy tailored to address the unique socio-economic dynamics of the country. Unlike European countries, Nigeria faces peculiar challenges in its labour market, including high levels of unemployment and underemployment. 

 

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