Abuja at a Glance
Working in Abuja
As Abuja is home to national and international political and diplomatic organizations in Nigeria, this is a major focus of what goes on in the city and is also a major sector of employment for expats. Nevertheless, the city as a whole is not as public sector dominated as is often assumed, with private enterprise accounting for much of the local economy.
Nigeria is now Africa's largest economy, with a GDP of 521.8 billion USD as of 2013. Although not as important economically as it is politically, Abuja is a center of wealth and affluence for the country.
There are often teaching positions available at the international schools, but they will require full qualifications from relevant (usually Western) countries and at least two to five years' experience. TEFL teaching is not really an option in Abuja.
Work Permits for Abuja
In order to obtain a work permit for Nigeria, foreigners usually need to have a job offer in place, and according to the Nigerian government website must also have "Acceptance of IR (Immigration Responsibility) by inviting organizations or individual."
The site also states that work visas are obtainable only from the office of the Comptroller General of Immigration in the Nigeria Immigration Service Headquarters, Old Secretariat, Block E, Garki, Abuja.
Visa types expats need to know about include the Temporary Work Permit (TWP) - valid for three months while residency status is regularized. A TWP can also be issued to expatriates entering the country for a brief, specialized job.
The Cerpack (Combined Expatriate Residence Permit), for people such as missionaries and students, is detailed on the government website .
Many expats aiming to work in Abuja may also be on diplomatic visas. This includes:
- Visiting Heads of States and their families
- Top officials of Government and their families, diplomats and their families
- Holders of United Nations Diplomatic Passport and Laisser passer, plus members of accredited diplomatic missions, international organizations and of accredited international non-governmental organizations
Dependents of work permit holders need a form B residence permit, issued for up to two years. Form B residence permit holders may not automatically work and in most cases a change of residence status will be need. Their children, though, can attend school without any change of status.
Income Taxation in Abuja
Tax issues in Nigeria are dealt with by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).
Companies doing business in Nigeria, both national and international, are subject to corporate income tax, with a rate of 30%. Personal income tax rates for all resident individuals range from 7% to 24%. Seven percent is on the first 300,000NGNper year (at time of writing 1,507.16 USD), rising incrementally to 24 percent on salaries of more than 3,200,000 per year (16,076.38 USD). Expats working in Abuja should check if their countries have double taxation treaties with Nigeria.