• Tuesday, April 16, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Advertising Reforms: ARCON mandates agencies to document employed foreigners

Advertising industry stakeholders to chart course on responsible advertising at ASP forum

Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON) has told advertising agencies, including creative agencies, out-of –home, experiential, digital and media independents agencies to have proper documentation of non-Nigerians in their employment.

ARCON said this documentation is in line with on-going reform and the need to keep proper record of non-Nigerians engaged by advertising agencies in Nigeria.

“Advertising agencies which currently engage non-Nigerians are requested to obtain approval for such employment before March 31,2024 for regularization.

ARCON said in a statement signed by Lekan Fadolapo, its Director General that “With effect from April 1, 2024, employment of non- Nigerians will require the prior approval of ARCON in line with ARCON proclamation.

It listed information required in any application for engagement of non-Nigerians to include –Evidence of work permit obtained from relevant government agencies; proof of remuneration package and conditions of service as comparable to those offered to Nigerians on same status and positions and proof that employment of foreign professionals will assist in transferring new skills and knowledge to Nigerians.

Other information required in the application should include evidence that the engagement of a foreigner will not affect the employment of Nigerians negatively and the validity of the offer.

ARCON said non-Nigerians are welcomed to practice the profession in Nigerian however such practice shall be certified and licensed by ARCON in line with Nigerian advertising laws.

It will be recalled that President Bola Tinubu recently launched the Expatriate Employment Levy (EEL), a government-mandated contribution imposed on organisations which engage expatriate workers in Nigeria, subject to certain exemptions.

The levy will be computed at $15,000 for every expatriate on the director level and $10,000 for those on other levels.

The EEL, which is payable annually will serve as a mandatory document like a passport. Every eligible expatriate will be required to present the EEL card at the time of exit and entry into Nigeria.

The effective date of implementation of the EEL has been defined as March 15, 2024, and employers have until April 15, 2024, to comply.

Its objectives, according to the government, are to promote skills transfer and knowledge sharing, balance economic growth and social welfare, enhance collaboration between public and private sectors and address demographic shifts.