Companies seeking to engage expatriates in the Nigerian oil and gas industry must obtain the relevant approvals from the Nigerian Content Development & Monitoring Board (NCDMB) before applying for Expatriate quota, Temporary Work Permit, or other entry permits from the Ministry of Interior, the Nigeria Immigration Service or other agencies of government.

The Nigerian Content Development Monitoring Act, 2010 allows the operator or project promoter for each of its operations, a maximum of 5% of Management positions as may be approved by the NCDMB as Expatriate Quota for its investor interests.


Nigerian Content Development & Monitoring Act 2010 (the Act) provides the legal framework for the application of expatriate quota in the Nigerian oil and gas industry, while the NCDMB (the Board) is vested with the powers relating to the administration and management of applications for Expatriate Quota. Section 33 of the Act makes it mandatory for all applications for expatriate quota approvals to be submitted to and be approved by the Board before any application is submitted for an expatriate quota to the Ministry of Interior or any other agency or Ministry of the Federal Government.

Since the administration of the Act is vested in the Board, the Board provides the procedure through the publication of ‘Guideline For Application Of Expatriate Quota, Succession Plan & Deployment Of Expatriate In The Nigerian Oil And Gas Industry’.


  • Any operator, Service Company, project promoter, stakeholder applying for expatriate quota in the oil and gas industry, including companies providing service(s) or intending to provide service(s) in the Industry shall seek and receive the approval of the Board before making any application for the expatriate quota to Federal Ministry of Interior, except where such expatriate position(s) fall under the 5% Management positions for investor interests as prescribed in Section 32 of the Act that has been previously approved by the Board.
  • The Applicant Company shall provide documentary evidence to show that the position(s) applied for have been advertised in at least two major Nigerian newspapers, the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Joint Qualification System (NOGIC JQS), the internet and social media sites and that the post(s) had been advertised internally in the company and that no qualified Nigerian indigene has been found within Nigeria for the position(s). All draft external advertisements for such positions under application shall be submitted to the Board for review and certification before publication.
  • The Applicant Company shall notify the Board of receipt of applications, planned interview dates and results of interview for each vacancy advertised.
  • Operators and Service Companies with international affiliations wishing to establish new quota positions by using staff from their international operations will have to submit the staff credentials to the Board along with a Capacity Building Plan in one of the following areas:
  • Employment of Nigerians in areas identified by the Board
  • Training of Nigerians in areas identified by the Board
  • Facility upgrade or revamp as identified by the Board
  • Sponsorship of a Research and Development initiative as identified by the Board.
  • The Applicant Company shall also provide:
  1. The information specified in Form Expatriate Quota/A (New expatriate quota Applications Form), on paper and electronic (Excel) formats in its application to the Board.
  2. Proof that no Nigerian indigene is qualified to occupy the position(s) advertised.
  • The information as specified in Form Expatriate Quota/C (All Expatriate Staff Details) on ALL existing expatriates in the company on paper and electronic (Excel) formats.
  1. The information as specified in Form Expatriate Quota/D (Nigerian Staff Details) on ALL Nigerian indigenous employees in the company on paper and electronic (Excel) formats.
  2. The electronic copies of required Forms in (i), (iii) & (iv) shall be uploaded through the Portal Account Profile of the Applicant Company at and electronic copies forwarded to the Board appropriately.


All applications for expatriate quota shall be accompanied with the following:

  • Succession Plan: Program/strategy for the reduction of expatriates and specific target dates to convert the expatriate positions to Nigerian positions within four years
  • Organizational Chart of the Applicant Company
  • Advert Report (for new applications)
  • Job Descriptions/Qualifications/Person Specification for each Job role
  • Training schedule for understudies and other Nigerian staff
  • Employment Commitment for Nigerians within the Two Years quota grant period
  • Past FMI approval letters for the required positions
  • Current DPR permits
  • Proof of expatriate registration with professional bodies in Nigeria
  • Cross-Posting/Exchange Program: This should include the positions, names and contact details of the Nigerian and Expatriate staff involved. Experiences gained by both the Nigerian and expatriate staff should be supplied


The Board shall decide on expatriate quota applications submitted to it within 30 working days of the receipt of the application provided that all information and documents as required are duly submitted by the Applicant Company. However, if the Board is unable to determine an application within the time stipulated, it shall inform the applicant, communicate the reasons for the delay and give a definite time within which a determination shall be made. The extended period shall not be more than fifteen (15) working days after the expiration of the initial 30 working days.

Upon approval of the application, there is the issuance of the Expatriate Quota by the Federal Ministry of Interior, which the Applicant Company must communicate to the Board, the list of the approved positions within one month of receipt on paper and electronic (Excel Worksheet), by updating the “Effective Date of current Quota” and “Expiry Date of current Quota” fields in Form Expatriate Quota/C (All Expatriate Staff Details) for the approved positions, as well as update their expatriate quota status on the NOGIC JQS.

Biometric data of all expatriate staff is to be captured by the Board within a month of their entry into the country for new quota positions, this is to create a database of all expatriates, as well as a tool for monitoring expatriate utilization in the Nigerian Oil and Gas industry. Also, every other requirement of the Board regulating Expatriates Staff must be adhered to because the renewal of quota positions will be dependent on the compliance level of the company.

In closing, the government through the Act provided for the development of Nigerian content in the Nigerian oil and gas industry. This is to ensure Nigerians are given the first consideration for employment in any project executed by any operator or project promoter in the Nigerian oil and gas industry, given that this is an effective way of developing the capacity of Nigerian in the industry.

By Oil & Gas Law Team at Resolution Law Firm