Federal Ministry of Interior Commences Implementation of Additional Guidelines for Administration of Expatriate Quota and other Business Instruments

The Federal Ministry of Interior (FMI or “the Ministry”) recently issued a Public Notice implementing additional guidelines to regulate Expatriate Quota (EQ) related matters and Business Residency in Nigeria (“the Guidelines”).  The Guidelines, which became effective on 24 January 2022, is intended to ensure the effective monitoring and utilization of the facilities granted to organisations with business operations in Nigeria.

We have outlined below, key provisions of the Guidelines:

  1. In line with the approval of the Honourable Minister of Interior, the Ministry shall conduct an appraisal of all EQ positions granted on Permanent until Reviewed (PUR) status by the Ministry from the inception of the facility to date.  The exercise will enable the Ministry to evaluate the continued eligibility of the relevant organisations to hold these approvals.  Consideration will be given to the length of time the instrument has been held and the extent of utilisation of each facility.  The deadline for compliance with the above directive is 28 February 2022.  EQ positions on PUR status that are not submitted by the deadline will be deemed to have lapsed and the Ministry will accordingly withdraw its relevant approvals.
  2. Organisations that have been granted EQ facilities are now required to submit their Expatriate Monthly Returns on the utilization of such facilities online via www.ecitibiz.interior.gov.ng.  The returns must contain the National Identity Number (NIN) of the expatriates and their Nigerian understudies.  For further details, please read our publication of 3 August 2017 on NIMC-NIS Database Harmonization.
  3. Organisations are required to formally write to introduce their representative/ consultant to the Ministry through the Office of the Director, Citizenship and Business Department.  The letter must contain the details of the representative /consultant including two (2) copies of recent passport photograph and photocopy of the official identification card.
  4. Organisations are required to pay a Company Inspection fee as part of application fees to obtain additional EQ positions and to renew existing positions in their EQ portfolio.  The fee ranges from ₦45,000.00 to ₦150,000.00, depending on whether the inspectors will require flights and overnight stay for the purpose of the inspection.

The Ministry expects that these guidelines will enable it to achieve its objective of successfully regulating expatriate employment and related business operations in Nigeria.


The implementation of the Guidelines is a welcome development.  Hopefully, it would enable the government to realize its vision for the establishment of the EQ policy, which will facilitate transfer of specialized skills and knowledge to Nigerians and improve Nigeria’s local content.

However, the introduction of the additional requirement of Company Inspection may potentially extend  the length of time for obtaining additional EQ approvals from the Ministry.  It is hoped that the Ministry will streamline the inspection process to ensure the time of obtaining the approval is in line with the government’s ease of doing business programme in Nigeria.  The Ministry may also wish to revisit the amount of Company Inspection fee to address investors’ concerns on the high cost of doing business in Nigeria. 

For further enquiries, please contact us.