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CPPE attributes expatriates operating in retail sector to regulatory weaknesses 

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Dr. Muda Yusuf

The Center for the Promotion of Private Enterprise (CPPE) has linked various instances of expatriates operating in the retail sector in Nigeria to regulatory weakness.

Dr. Muda Yusuf, Chief Executive Officer (CPPE) stated this in a statement made available to Nairametrcs.

Concerns expressed by Indigenous retailers

Yusuf noted that there are similar concerns expressed by indigenous retailers in the computer and electronics, textiles and fabrics, and fashion accessories where expatriates are competing with them at the retail end of the market.

  • “Evidence of regulatory weaknesses are the numerous instances of expatriates operating in the retail sector in the open markets, competing with our market women and men.  
  • We surely do not lack expertise in retail trading. But we have seen cases of some expatriates taking up shops in our traditional markets. Many of our indigenous traders in the markets have been displaced by these expatriates because they cannot compete with them. 
  • There are similar concerns expressed by our indigenous retailers in the computer and electronics, textiles and fabrics, and fashion accessories where expatriates are competing with them at the retail end of the market. 
  • Some of these companies dominate the entire value chain – they are the manufacturers, distributors, and retailers,” he said.

These are some of the issues that need to be addressed by the immigration service and the Ministry of Interior. Competition with our struggling market women and men is an unfair competition.

Yusuf commended President Bola Tinubu, the Coordinating Minister for the Economy, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, and the Minister of Interior for suspending the implementation of the contentious Expatriate Employment Levy (EEL).

He noted that the gesture is a demonstration of the fact the Tinubu administration is responsive, democratic, and inclusive in its governance process.

Laws and regulations

Yusuf said that there are already extant laws and regulations within the framework of the Nigeria Immigration Act and the Expatriate Quota Handbook that squarely address the outcomes contemplated in the EEL.

Yusuf said the handbook is robust and comprehensive and covers the critical issues of technology transfer, localization of jobs, and restrictions of some categories of expatriates from entry into the country, based on current skill gaps.

He added that there is also the National Content Act and Presidential Executive Orders Three and Five which focus on localization of procurement and service opportunities.

Yusuf said what needs to be done differently is to strengthen the institutional and regulatory effectiveness of the Ministry of Interior and the Immigration Service to ensure compliance and enforcement.

  • “The truth is that relevant institutions have over the years been considerably compromised. These are the gaps that need to be addressed. 
  • We do not need a new policy, regulation, or handbook on the employment of expatriates. A new regulation or policy will be superfluous. The current regulations or handbook could be tweaked, if necessary,” he said.  

 


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