Section 23-32 of the Nigerian Labour Act 2004
Section 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32 of the Nigerian Labour Act 2004 is under Part II (Recruiting) of the act, and collectively titled ‘Recruiters and recruiting generally‘.
Section 23 of the Labour Act 2004
Prohibition of recruiting except under permit or licence
(1) Subject to this section and section 48 of this Act, no person or association shall recruit any citizen for employment as a worker in Nigeria or elsewhere except in pursuance of an employer’s permit or recruiter’s licence.
(2) Where a worker-
(a) is employed by an undertaking for which it is proposed that he should recruit other workers;
(b) is formally commissioned in writing by his employer to recruit other workers for the undertaking;
(c) does not receive any remuneration or other advantage from the recruiting; and
(d) does not make advances of wages to the workers he recruits,
the Minister may waive the need for a permit or licence under subsection (1) of this section and issue to the worker certificate to recruit citizens for service as workers in Nigeria, subject to such conditions (which shall be endorsed on the certificate) as the Minister thinks fit.
(3) If any worker to whom a certificate has been issued under subsection (2) of this section is convicted of an offence under section 46 or 47 of this Act, the Minister may forthwith cancel the certificate.
Section 24 of the Labour Act 2004
(1) If any person is desirous of recruiting-
(a) for himself or any other person; or
(b) for any association of employers; or
(c) for a public authority; or
(d) for the government of any country outside Nigeria, the services of any citizen as a worker in Nigeria or elsewhere, he may apply in writing to the Minister giving the particulars specified in subsection (2) of this section.
(2) The particulars referred to in subsection (1) of this section are-
(a) the number of workers required;
(b) the place where the work is to be performed;
(c) the nature of the work;
(d) the wages to be paid;
(e) the duration of the proposed contract; and
(f) whether or not it is desired to obtain the workers through a recruiter.
(3) Where the work is to be performed outside Nigeria, the Minister may require the production of a letter of recommendation from the government of the place where the work is to be performed certifying that the applicant is a fit and proper person to be granted a permit.
(4) Upon receipt of an application under subsection (1) of this section and, if required, a letter of recommendation under subsection (3) of this section, the Minister may grant to the applicant a permit to engage personally or through a recruiter the number of workers required (or a smaller number) within such area as may be specified in the permit.
(5) The particulars of every permit granted under this section shall be published in the Federal Gazette, and no such permit shall remain in force for a longer period than six months from the date of issue.
(6) It shall be an implied term of every permit granted under this section that the workers recruited shall be grouped at the place of employment under suitable ethnical conditions.
(7) Except in the case of workers recruited for the service of a public authority, the Minister shall-
(a) before granting a permit under this section, require security in such amount as he may think fit (either by way of deposit or otherwise) to be given by the employer or his agent or both-
(i) for the payment of the wages and travelling expenses of the workers about to be recruited;
(ii) for the payment of any expenses which may be incurred by the Federal Government in respect of the workers or their families; and
(iii) for the payment of any fine which may be imposed upon the employer under this Part of this Act; and
(b) endorse upon the permit full particulars of the security given.
Section 25 of the Labour Act 2004
(1) The Minister may license fit and proper persons to recruit citizens in Nigeria for the purpose of-
(a) employment as workers outside Nigeria; or
(b) employment as workers in Nigeria:
Provided that any person who has been granted a licence to recruit citizens for employment outside Nigeria may also be granted a licence to recruit citizens for employment inside Nigeria.
(2) A licence granted under this section shall be valid for a period of twelve months from the date of issue, and notification of the grant shall be published in the Federal Gazette.
(3) The grant of a licence under this section may be made subject to such conditions and restrictions as the Minister may think fit; and any such conditions or restrictions shall be endorsed upon the licence.
(4) Every applicant for a licence under this section shall, if so required by the Minister, furnish such financial or other security for his proper conduct as may be required.
(5) The Minister may at any time-
(a) suspend a licence granted under this section pending the result of any investigation into any alleged irregularity; and
(b) withdraw the licence if the licensee has been convicted of any offence under this or any other law or has otherwise so conducted himself as in the opinion of the Minister to be no longer a fit and proper person to undertake recruiting operations.
(6) Where a licence is suspended or withdrawn under subsection (5) of this section, notification of the suspension or withdrawal shall be published in the Federal Gazette.
Section 26 of the Labour Act 2004
Restrictions on recruiting
(1) No recruiting operations shall be conducted in any area in which recruiting is prohibited by the Minister by order or in a labour health area.
(2) No recruiter shall recruit workers for service with any person-
(a) unless that person is in possession of a valid permit granted under section 24 of this Act; or
(b) in excess of the number of workers authorized to be recruited by the permit; or
(c) from any area or place which is not specified in the permit.
(3) No public officer shall-
(a) act as a recruiting agent; or
(b) exercise pressure upon possible recruits; or
(c) receive from any source whatsoever any special remuneration or other special inducement for assistance in recruiting.
Section 27 of the Labour Act 2004
Recruiting: miscellaneous provisions
(1) Every recruiter shall keep in the prescribed form records from which the regularity of every recruiting operation and of his own conduct can be verified and shall produce the records for inspection on demand by an authorized labour officer.
(2) No person shall assist a recruiter in a subordinate capacity in the actual recruiting operation unless he has been approved in writing by the Minister and has been furnished with written authority by the recruiter; and, where a recruiter’s assistant commits an offence under this Part of this Act, both the assistant and the recruiter shall be deemed to have committed the offence and shall each be liable on conviction to the penalty therefor.
(3) A recruiter who is the agent or assistant of another recruiter-
(a) shall receive a fixed salary; or
(b) with the written approval of the Minister, may receive remuneration calculated at a rate per capita of workers recruited, the rate being specified in the approval.
(4) No recruiter shall recruit any young person:
Provided that the Minister may in writing authorize the recruitment of young persons whose apparent age exceeds sixteen years with the consent of the parents or guardian for employment in an occupation appearing to the Minister not to be injurious to their moral or physical development, subject to such safeguards relating to their welfare as may be stated in the authorization.
(5) No advance in excess of a total sum of ten naira shall be paid to any recruited worker in respect of wages prior to his employment, and any advance which is made shall be subject to such conditions as the Minister may direct either generally or in respect of any particular case.
(6) In any case where a recruited worker is not engaged at or near the place of recruiting, the Minister may in his discretion require, either generally or in any specific .recruiting operation, the issue to the worker of a document in writing containing particulars of-
(a) the identity of the worker;
(b) the prospective conditions of employment; and
(c) any advance of wages made to the worker;
and containing such other particulars as the Minister may consider necessary.
(7) The recruiting of the head of a family shall not be deemed to involve the recruiting of any member of his family.
(8) Where a worker’s family accompanies him to his place of employment under section 34 or 44 of this Act, he and the members of his family shall not be separated except at the express request of the persons concerned.
Section 28 of the Labour Act 2004
(1) Every recruited worker shall be medically examined under section 8 of this Act.
(2) Where a worker has been recruited for employment at a distance from the place of recruiting or has been recruited for employment outside Nigeria, the medical examination shall take place as near as may be convenient to the place of recruiting
or, in the case of workers recruited for employment outside Nigeria, at the last place of departure from Nigeria.
(3) The Minister may empower an authorized labour officer before whom recruited workers are brought under section 33 or 39 of this Act to permit the departure prior to medical examination of any such worker in whose case the officer is satisfied that-
(a) it was and is impossible for the medical examination to take place near to the place of recruiting or at the place of departure;
(b) the worker appears fit for the journey and the prospective employment; and
(c) the worker will be medically examined on arrival at the place of employment or as soon as possible thereafter.
(4) The Minister may in his discretion (and particularly when the journey of any recruited workers is of such a duration and takes place under such conditions that the health of the workers is likely to be affected) require any recruited workers to be examined both before departure and after arrival at the place of employment.
(5) The Minister shall ensure that all necessary measures are taken for the acclimatization and adaptation of recruited workers and for their immunization against disease, and may issue such directions in that behalf as he may think fit, either generally or in respect of any particular recruiting operation.
Section 29 of the Labour Act 2004
(1) The recruiter or employer shall provide transport to the place of employment, except in so far as an authorized labour officer may in any particular case certify that the provision of transport is impossible for the whole or any part of the journey.
(2) The Minister shall issue such directions as he may consider necessary to ensure that-
(a) the vehicles and vessels used for the transport of recruited workers are suitable for the purpose;
(b) when it is necessary to break the journey for the night, suitable accommodation is provided;
(c) in the case of long journeys all necessary arrangements are made for medical assistance for the recruited workers and for their welfare;
(d) where recruited workers have to make long journeys on foot to the place of employment-
(i) the length of the daily journey is compatible with the health and strength of the recruited workers, and
(ii) if the extent of the movement of labour renders it necessary, rest camps or rest houses are provided at suitable points on the main routes and are kept in proper sanitary condition and have the necessary facilities for medical attention; and
(e) adequate protection (which may include the provision of separate accommodation) is afforded during the journey to members of the family of a recruited worker accompanying him under section 34 or 44 of this Act.
(3) Where recruited workers have to make long journeys in groups to the place of employment, they shall be conveyed by a responsible person approved by an authorized labour officer.
(4) The Minister may make regulations prescribing the conditions under which recruited workers may be transported by road, sea or air and, without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, any such regulations may make provision for compliance with Nigerian immigration laws and for the recovery of any expenses incurred by the Federal Government in repatriating any worker.
Section 30 of the Labour Act 2004
Expenses and maintenance
(1) The expenses of the journey of recruited workers to the place of employment, including all expenses incurred for their welfare during the journey, shall be borne by the recruiter or the employer.
(2) The recruiter shall furnish recruited workers with everything necessary for their welfare during the journey to the place of employment, including particularly, as local circumstances may require, adequate and suitable supplies of food, drinking water, fuel, cooking utensils, clothing and blankets.
(3) The Minister may issue directions, either generally or in respect of any particular recruiting operation, for the proper implementation of subsection (2) of this section.
(4) The Minister may by order apply all or any of the provisions of this section or any directions issued there under, either generally or in any particular case, to the recruitment of workers under a certificate issued pursuant to section 23 of this Act and to the worker-recruiter and employer concerned.
Section 31 of the Labour Act 2004
(1) Any recruited worker who-
(a) becomes incapacitated by sickness or accident during the journey to the place of employment; or
(b) is found on medical examination to be unfit for employment; or
(c) for a reason for which he is not responsible, is not engaged after being recruited; or
(d) is found by an authorized labour officer to have been recruited by misrepresentation or mistake, shall be repatriated at the expense of the recruiter or employer.
(2) Where the family of a recruited worker accompanies him under section 34 or 44 of this Act, sections 27 (6) and 28 of this Act (and any requirements or directions thereunder) shall apply to the family as nearly as may be; and, if the worker-
(a) is repatriated under subsection (1) of this section; or
(b) dies during the journey to the place of employment, the family shall be repatriated at the expense of the recruiter or employer.
Section 32 of the Labour Act 2004
Upon the completion of any agreement for a contract of work by a recruited worker, there shall be paid to an authorized labour officer for the Federal Government by the employer or his agent in respect of the worker a capitation fee of such sum as may be fixed, either generally or in respect of any particular recruiting operation, by the Minister by order.