Section 36-44 of the Nigerian Labour Act 2004
Section 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44 of the Nigerian Labour Act 2004 is under Part II (Recruiting) of the act, and collectively titled ‘Recruiting for employment outside Nigeria‘.
Section 36 of the Labour Act 2004
Power of prohibition
The National Council of Ministers may by order prohibit the recruitment or engagement of citizens for employment outside Nigeria in any territory named in the order.
Section 37 of the Labour Act 2004
Where there is in existence a treaty, convention or other international agreement between Nigeria and any other country relating to the recruitment of citizens for employment outside Nigeria, the National Council of Ministers may by order give the force of law to all or any of the provisions of the agreement in place of or in addition to sections 38 to 44 of this Act or any particular provisions of those sections.
Section 38 of the Labour Act 2004
Duration of contract and return passages
(1) The period of a foreign contract shall be in accordance with the terms of any agreement entered into between Nigeria and any other country for the purpose of the recruitment in Nigeria of Nigerian workers for service in the country concerned, and subject thereto, a foreign contract shall not be for a longer period than-
(a) one year, if the worker is not accompanied by his family; or
(b) two years, if the worker is accompanied by his family.
(2) Within thirty days after the expiration of a foreign contract, the employer to whom the employer’s permit was granted under section 24 of this Act (or the agent of that employer) shall offer to provide the worker with a return passage for himself and his family, if any, to the place of recruitment, together with proper accommodation and maintenance on the journey.
(3) If, while a worker under a foreign contract is on a journey or voyage-
(a) the period expressed in his contract for the duration of the contract expires; or
(b) he gives notice to terminate the contract, the employer may prolong the contract for a period not exceeding one month for the purpose of completing the journey or voyage.
Section 39 of the Labour Act 2004
Procedure prior to leaving Nigeria
(1) No citizen shall leave Nigeria under a foreign contract to serve as a worker outside Nigeria unless he has been-
(a) medically examined under section 8 of this Act and passed fit to perform the work for which he was engaged; and
(b) brought before an authorized labour officer and certified by that officer as duly recruited in accordance with this Part of this Act.
(2) Before issuing a certificate under subsection (1) (b) of this section, an authorized labour officer shall satisfy himself that-
(a) a valid contract for employment of the citizen has been duly entered into in accordance with section 40 of this Act;
(b) the citizen has obtained-
(i) the consent in writing of the local government authority within whose jurisdiction he ordinarily resides signified before an administrative officer, and a certificate in writing from the administrative officer to that effect, or
(ii) if the citizen does not ordinarily reside within the jurisdiction of a local government authority, the consent in writing of an administrative officer;
(c) the citizen has not been subjected to illegal pressure or recruited by misrepresentation or mistake;
(d) the citizen has been recruited in accordance with this Part of this Act;
(e) the citizen is of or above the proper age for recruitment in accordance with section 27 (4) of this Act; and
(f) the citizen has been medically examined under section 8 of this Act and passed fit to perform the work for which he has been recruited.
(3) An administrative officer shall not give a certificate or his consent under subsection (2) (b) of this section unless he is reasonably satisfied with regard to the citizen concerned-
(a) that the citizen is not abandoning wives, children or other relatives dependent upon him for maintenance and that due provision has been made for the maintenance during the citizen’s absence of any persons dependent upon him; and
(b) that the citizen’s absence from Nigeria is not obviously inconsistent with engagements into which he has previously entered or with obligations imposed by law, custom or usage.
Section 40 of the Labour Act 2004
Special terms and conditions of contract
(1) Every foreign contract shall, in addition to any terms or conditions required to be inserted by any other provision of this Act, contain terms or conditions-
(a) providing for workers to have one day free of work in each week;
(b) providing for a daily ration of food to be provided free;
(c) providing for-
(i) rations and half pay to be given from the date of recruitment to the date of departure from Nigeria, and full pay and rations thereafter, and
(ii) full pay and rations to be given on the return journey up to disembarkation in Nigeria, and rations and half pay to be given from the point of disembarkation to the place of recruitment;
(d) providing for one half (or such other proportion as may be specified in the contract) of his wages to be paid monthly to the worker direct in lawful currency, and for the remaining portion to be remitted to an authorized labour officer in the area in which the worker was recruited for payment to the worker on his return to his home;
(e) giving particulars of the clothing, blankets, cooking utensils, fuel and housing accommodation to be furnished by the employer free of charge;
(f) giving particulars of the medical attention and housing accommodation to be provided by the employer free of charge;
(g) giving particulars of the transport to be provided free to the worker from and to the place of recruitment and the place of employment;
(h) giving particulars of the arrangements to be made with regard to the provision of rations and the matters mentioned in paragraphs (e), (f) and (g) of this subsection to members of families authorized to accompany workers;
(i) giving particulars of the terms and conditions of repatriation of workers and their families and of the procedure to be followed in case of a refusal of repatriation;
(j) giving particulars of the procedure to be followed in case of the death or desertion of or other casualty to the worker, with particular reference to-
(i) the payment of any wages due to him,
(ii) the distribution of any moneys in the hands of an authorized labour officer, and
(iii) the reporting of the death, desertion or other casualty to the proper authorities;
(k) giving particulars of the deductions which may be made from the wages of the worker and the worker’s rights of appeal;
(l) giving particulars of the procedure to be followed for the dismissal of the worker for inefficiency arising from sickness or for any other reason, and of his rights under that procedure; and
(m) specifying the terms of re-engagement.
(2) Every foreign contract shall be made in triplicate and entered into in the presence of an authorized labour officer, who shall-
(a) upon the production to him of the employer’s permit authorizing the engagement of the worker in question, cause the contract to be read over to the worker or, if the worker is unable to understand the language in which the contract is written, to be translated orally into a language which is understood by the worker; and
(b) if he is satisfied that the contract is fully understood and voluntarily entered into by the worker, certify by endorsement on the contract that he has carried out the provisions of this subsection and that the worker has been duly recruited under this Part of this Act; and
(c) enter on the employer’s permit the number of workers engaged there under.
(3) The Minister shall ensure that a copy of every foreign contract is transmitted as soon as may be to the government of the territory in which the place of employment is situated.
(4) An authorized labour officer shall keep a register of-
(a) the name and place of abode of every worker entering into a foreign contract before him under subsection (2) of this section;
(b) the date and duration of the contract;
(c) the place of employment thereunder;
(d) the name of the employer and his agent, if any; and
(e) the nature of the employment, and the register (or a copy of any entry therein certified as a true copy by that or another authorized labour officer) shall be received in any court as evidence of the facts stated therein without further proof.
Section 41 of the Labour Act 2004
Surrender of permits
Where in relation to a foreign contract-
(a) the full number of workers authorized by the employer’s permit has been engaged; or
(b) the period for which the permit was issued has expired,
the permit shall be surrendered to an authorized labour officer for transmission forthwith to the Minister.
Section 42 of the Labour Act 2004
Where a foreign contract is entered into before an authorized labour officer under section 40 (2) of this Act-
(a) the employer or his agent shall supply the authorized labour officer with a list of all the workers engaged under the contract;
(b) the authorized labour officer shall transmit the list as soon as possible to the officer in charge of police at the port of embarkation; and
(c) the said officer in charge of police (or a police officer acting under his direction) shall-
(i) superintend the embarkation of the workers,
(ii) cause each worker to report himself so that his name may be checked with the list, and
(iii) on completion of the check, report to the authorized labour officer the fact of completion and such other matters in connection with the embarkation as he thinks necessary.
Exemption from customs on repatriation
Section 43 of the Labour Act 2004
Exemption from customs on repatriation
The personal effects and tools belonging to workers (or members of their families) who-
(a) have left Nigeria in pursuance of a foreign contract; and
(b) are repatriated either by the employer or his agent or by the Federal Government,
shall be exempt from customs duties.
Section 44 of the Labour Act 2004
Right to be accompanied by family at employer’s expense.
Where a worker is recruited for employment outside Nigeria, it shall be the duty of the employer to provide facilities at his own expense to enable the worker’s family (not exceeding two wives and such of his children under the age of sixteen years as he wishes to accompany him) to accompany him to the place of employment and to remain there for the full duration of the contract:
Provided that, if the contract is for less than one year, provision may be made for the family to remain for less than the full duration of the contract.