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FDIs: Tinubu seeks improved home-grown skills retention, tech domestication in Nigeria

*President Bola Ahmed Tinubu says Nigeria seeks a greater balancing of employment opportunities between the citizens and expatriates, as well as the closure of the wage gap between expatriates and the Nigerian labour force, making it more attractive to hire Nigerians

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has restated the need for Nigerians to facilitate home-grown skills retention and technology domestication in order to balance employment opportunities between the citizenry and expatriates.

The Nigerian leader stated this Tuesday, February 27, 2024, while launching the Expatriate Employment Levy (EEL) handbook, in the State House, Abuja, FCT.

Ajuri Ngelale, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, in a statement, noted President Tinubu also said the aim is to close wage gaps between expatriates and the Nigerian labour force, while increasing employment opportunities for qualified Nigerians in foreign companies operating in the country.

The President, however, warned that the scheme should not be used as an impediment nor as a cudgel wielded to discourage foreign investors from investing in the Nigerian economy.

Tinubu stated: “We expect improved revenue generation; improved naturalisation and indigenisation; we anticipate the employment of more qualified Nigerians by foreign companies operating in this country.

“We seek a greater balancing of employment opportunities between Nigerians and expatriates and the closure of the wage gap between expatriates and the Nigerian labour force by making it more attractive to hire Nigerians.”

He equally said: “I declare my support for the Expatriate Employment Levy scheme, and I will continue to encourage the operators, practitioners of immigration matters and expatriate quotas.

“But I emphasise: do not use it as a bottleneck; do not use it as an obstacle to frustrate potential investors.”

The President averred: “There will be clear lines of implementation and effective acceleration of aims and objectives of this programme.

“Officials in charge of immigration matters, expatriate quotas, and relevant stakeholders have to be effectively guided to make Nigeria the focus of the objective of this EEL. “Therefore, it is my honour to launch the handbook of the Expatriate Employment Levy.”

Tinubu used the occasion to assure Nigerians that there is imminent light at the end of the tunnel as the country gradually turns the corner.

He reassured the citizens: “We might be going through a difficult period now, but when you look at the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), the Federal Ministries of Finance; Budget and National Planning, and the people manning the ship of this country, including the Central Bank of Nigeria, they have collaborated, and in the spirit of development and progress, we are glad that good effort is being made to re-engineer the finances of the country and make growth our hallmark.”

Commenting on the details of the initiative, Hon. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, Honourable Minister for Interior, explained that the project would be operated on a public-private partnership model between the Federal Government of Nigeria and Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), which is the implementing agency, and a technical partner, EEL Projects Limited.

Tunji-Ojo stated: “It is worthy to mention that the project is aligned with the eight-point agenda of Mr. President, especially on the issue of job security and economic growth. This project will, among other things, lead to technology domestication.

“The essence of this is to be sure that if you are bringing an expatriate to work in Nigeria, it should be a job that no Nigerian has the skill to do. That is the major objective of this particular initiative.”

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