EDITORIAL: Jean-Marc Cordier: Advantages Of Hiring Expats

The Nigerian Immigration Act Cap 17, Laws of Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and the Immigration Regulations made thereunder contain provisions for the employment of expatriates in Nigeria.

Section 8 of the Immigration Act provides that any foreigner seeking employment or a work permit in Nigeria must obtain the consent of the Comptroller General of Immigration. This consent is issued in form of an Expatriate Quota (EQ).

The Expatriate Quota is a document that permits companies to employ expatriates to specifically approved job designations and also specifies the period of such employment.

It is a form of approval granted to companies and registered firms to employ the services of expatriates with the required skills and ability, to train Nigerians understudying and transferring the requisite skills during the period of employment.

One thing companies get to gain from hiring expats is their international experience. Most times, these types of employees have years of experience working in different countries and if you want to know how other countries treat the business you are into, this would be where an expat comes in.

Local employees wouldn’t be able to give you this diversity since they have been in one country all their working years. Getting the right candidate to hire as an expat is a problem that needs to be surmounted though. You can use employer of record services to help your company with the hiring process.

A company may be going into a niche that is more common in other countries and so there may not be many people if there are at all in your country that can serve as the talent you need. This is where the company reaps the advantages of hiring expats. Yes, it is expensive but the real question is, ‘Do you want to start your business and become successful in it?’ It is always a ‘yes’.

When a company decides to start a business in a new country or wants to go global, and make it’s brand international, then hiring ex-pats will be vital. Expats help the company achieve global expansion because they have more international exposure and may have traveled to countries that the company may be considering extending its offices to. The fact that you have employees from different countries with different cultures can help you achieve global success.

There is no doubt that ex-pat employees maintain consistency. This is another reason why companies want to have a blend of ex-pat employees with their locals. An expatriate employee can bring the culture and company processes of the local office to the new one. Since they have worked in the local office, they will understand how the business works. This is very important when establishing a new office, especially an international one. Companies want their international offices to be able to work with the local ones without hitches and that is where an expatriate thrives. They will make sure that the culture and processes at home remain the same abroad.

Many companies these days don’t want to hire all their employees locally unless it is necessary. The need to hire expats has been on the rise, especially because many of them can now work remotely. Every company wants that cultural diversity amongst their employees as it will come in handy when they want to expand to other countries. The advantages far outweigh how much you will have to spend to secure their services.

First of all, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited has not gone against the Nigerian Immigration Act Cap 17, Laws of Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and the Immigration Regulations made thereunder contains provisions for the employment of expatriates in Nigeria secondly, the NNPCL has not violated the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board Oil and Gas expatriate quotas.

For record purposes, Jean-Marc Cordier is a renowned oil trader. French/Swiss national, Cordier holds a Masters degree in Corporate Finance with Distinction from Paris 9 University. He brings into the job thirty-plus years of experience in global oil markets across Asia and Europe.

Notable among the roles he held before the NNPC appointment was a former Vice President of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), one of the leading oil giants in the world.

A renowned international oil trader, Cordier comes into the role with a rich background spanning over 30 years in physical oil, oil derivatives, and risk management, with significant experience in reorganizing and creating a trading business.

He spent 24 years with Elf Trading/Total Trading in various positions as Trader, Trading Desk Manager in Geneva, and four years as the Global Trading Manager at Addax Energy in Geneva.

At the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) in Abu Dhabi, he served as Vice President of Middle Distillates, Senior Vice President of Risk Management, Senior team member in charge of building the Trading activity for ADNOC and the launch of ADNOC Global Trading (AGT) in December 2020.

In all honesty, Jean-Marc Cordier is a bigger plus to the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited.