The Federal Government is rolling out and implementing a new policy on expatriate quota that will largely ensure that Nigerians have better employment opportunities in the country.
Consequently, companies that will be focused to consummate the better employment deal, are wholly foreign, joint ventures, or indigenous companies, which engage the services of expatriates.
It was gathered that such companies cut across sectors such as construction, oil and gas, telecoms, manufacturing, and hospitality, among others.
Nigerian professionals are expected to be absorbed into the companies to take jobs for which they are qualified, in line with terms and conditions of the expatriate quota-enabled employment opportunities.
The policy, which details will be made known to the public in about a fortnight, will be implemented by the Ministry of Interior, in concert with the Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS. There is, according to credible information, a robust private partnership component that will ensure the seamless execution of the policy.
The process leading to the take-off of the policy and the processes thereafter, as learnt, would not cost the federal government a kobo.
An official of the ministry said the policy was specifically targeted at the over 150,000 expatriates working in the country at the moment.
The official added that “as the number grows over time, they will be accommodated in the revenue-generation net.”
“While keeping close to his chest specific details of the forthcoming policy, he said the projection was that Nigeria, in the next twenty years, would have been well positioned to consistently attract into her revenue kitty about $1.5 billion annually from expatriates working in the country.
This revenue inflow is apart from the Personal Income Tax prescribed by the Personal Income Tax Act, PITA, cap P8 LFN, 2007, as amended, which forms the legal basis for taxation of employment income, including those earned by expatriates working in Nigeria.
The source further disclosed that the revenue could be more in the event that the companies failed to absorb qualified Nigerians into the particular jobs allotted to them (citizens).
Such defaulting companies, it was gathered, would be required to pay some prescribed levy in penalties.
”The move by government to secure Nigerian workers’ slots in the applicable companies is to discourage expatriates from doing jobs for which Nigerians are qualified and thus help to stem the tide of brain or talent drain.” , which has in recent times, partly manifested in the lingering exodus of Nigerians to foreign countries, a situation, which is popularly referred to as Japa, meaning take off.
”The other justification for the policy measure is the economic imperative to open more revenue streams and expand the revenue base of the country from which funding could be provided to develop the nation’s infrastructure projects which could have competed for the nation’s otherwise meagre resources,” the source said.