NIGERIA - Executive Order Brings Stricter Labour Market Rules
On 2 February 2018, the President of Nigeria signed an executive order (EO5) aimed at promoting local Nigerian expertise in science, engineering and technology.
What does the executive order say?
EO5 prohibits the federal Ministry of Interior (FMI) from giving visas to foreign workers whose skills are readily available in Nigeria. Where local expertise is lacking, procuring entities must give preference to foreign companies and firms with a demonstrable and verifiable plan for indigenous development, prior to the award of contracts. Consideration will only be given to a foreign professional where it is certified by the appropriate authority that such expertise is not available in Nigeria.
What to expect
While further guidelines and directives on the implementation of EO5 are expected from the authorities, the executive order is expected to have some impact on existing immigration practice.
The application for the grant of expatriate quotas will be more rigorous. The understudies requirement for expatriates will be closely monitored by the Federal Ministry of Interior and Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) to ensure compliance with existing law. Registration with professional bodies will become a strict requirement. Submission of monthly expatriate quota returns will be closely monitored. It is expected that there will be more onsite visits and audits by NIS.
Employers should expect further guidelines and directives from FMI and NIS in the coming weeks.