Comprehensive information about the Expatriate Employment Levy imposed by the Nigerian Government: Compliance Requirements

Nigerian Expatriate Employment Levy

What is the Expatriate Employment Levy?

The Expatriate Employment Levy [or “EEL”] is a levy/contribution imposed by the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on local companies that employ foreigners to work for them in Nigeria. On the 27th of February, 2024, the Federal Ministry of Interior issued the Expatriate Employment Levy [EEL] Handbook and same was launched by the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Bola Tinubu. It is lauded that the EEL is in alignment with the Renewed Hope Agenda of the present Nigerian Government.

The EEL seeks to balance the benefits of expatriates employment in Nigeria with the local workforce.

Liability to pay the Expatriate Employment Levy [EEL]

Employers who employ expatriates in their companies are liable to pay the EEL to the Government and ensure compliance. This is irrespective of the size of the company involved, whether large, small, and medium-sized enterprises. As long as the Nigerian entity in question employs expatriates, they are liable to pay the levy on their expatriate workers.

Expatriate Employment Levy [EEL] Coverage

The private sector which employs expatriates in specific industries that heavily on expatriate workers like Construction, Manufacturing, ICT, Agriculture, Oil & Gas are all covered and contemplated on the payment of the EEL and they have to comply.

Who are Expatriates whom the EEL apply to

Expatriates are non-Nigerian citizens employed to work in Nigeria and this encompasses individuals on specific types of work visas. For expatriates on secondment to foreign countries on short-term, cross-border assignments, the company that seconded the expatriate will be liable to pay for the EEL on that expatriate so long as that expatriate occupies a quota in their company.

Duration of Residency/Employment

For a company to be liable to pay the EEL on an expatriate, that worker must have been employed and work in Nigeria for a period of not less than 183 [one hundred and eighty-three] days in a year, even if the 183 days is spread out in a fiscal year.

Exemption from EEL payments

Expatriates who are accredited staff of Diplomatic Missions, alongside Government officials and international agencies accredited to Nigeria are exempt from payment of the EEL.

How Much is the EEL payable by employers?

If an employer employs Expatriates, then the employer is liable to pay $15,000 USD for director-level expatriates and $10,000 USD for other categories of expatriates.

What is the Payment Cycle for the EEL?

Employers that employ expatriates who the EEL apply to pay the EEL annually on all eligible expatriate employees.

Role of the Nigerian Immigration Service in Enforcing the Expatriate Employment Levy

In line with its powers under the Immigration Act, the Nigerian Immigration Service has the responsibility to determine the expatriates that fall within the purview of the EEL, enforce the levy, and use the data it gathers from the EEL project to enhance Nigeria’s economic interests.

Reporting and Compliance

The Government has a duty to provide electronic platforms where employers can report the details of their expatriate employees, while, on the other hand, employers have a duty to maintain comprehensive records of their expatriate employees and report same in a timely manner to the Government.

Furthermore, Government agencies responsible for enforcement of the EEL have the power to run compliance audits to cross-check the records submitted by employers with other records to ensure that the information reported is accurate.

Expatriates have the responsibility to ensure they report accurate personal information to their employers and to the Government.

Offences and Penalties over the EEL

There are sanctions and penalties imposed for various offences relating to the EEL. These are as follows:

  1. Where employers fail to make accurate reports, or fail to make their Reports at all, they can be liable for imprisonment for a period of up to five years and fines of up to ₦1,000,000 (One Million Naira) or both.
  2. Failure of a company in Nigeria to file their EEL within thirty days will attract fine of ₦3,000,000 (Three Million Naira).
  3. Failure of a company in Nigeria to register an employee within thirty days will attract fine of ₦3,000,000 (Three Million Naira).
  4. Falsification of details of expatriates will attract fine of ₦3,000,000 (Three Million Naira).
  5. Failure of a company to renew their Expatriate Employment Levy within thirty days will attract fine of ₦3,000,000 (Three Million Naira).


The Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has introduced the EEL to regulate expatriate employment and balance it out with Nigeria’s local, home-grown workforce. Every company in Nigeria that employs expatriates has a responsibility to comply with reporting the status of their expatriates and complying with the payment of the EEL on those employees so as to avoid penalties.

Kindly note that this Article is provided for information purposes only and for general guidance on the EEL subject matter. It does not constitute legal advice.

If you are a Nigerian company with expatriates in your employment and you like some guidance on the process and requirements, we invite you to reach out to us at so we can assist. You can also call us on +2348064231176 or alternatively chat us here on WhatsApp. We respond to all business enquiries within twenty-four hours.

This article was written by the Corporate & Commercial Law department at Kabbiz Legal & Advisory.


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