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The norm in Nigeria with regards to the recruitment of unemployed persons is that majority of recruitment agencies make promises of employment to unsuspecting job seekers which in most cases are non-existent and demand a high consulting fee for such unscrupulous service. It is then crucial for companies or organizations keen on operating recruitment service as a recruitment agency or to function as a recruiter in any capacity in Nigeria to comply with the provisions of the Labour Act, CAP L1, LFN 2004, and obtain a RECRUITERS LICENSE from the Ministry of Labour and Employment.

The Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment has 2 main classes of Recruiter’s License issued to Potential Employment Agencies (who provide direct employment for job seekers with suitable qualifications) and Labour Contractors (who employ workers with a view of making them available to a third party), and they include the following:

  1. Recruiters License for Domestic Operations
  2. Recruiters License for International Operations


This license serves the purpose of enabling its holder to carry out business as an employment agency within the sovereign territory of Nigeria. This is the most sought after and every Company or Organization engaged as a Recruitment agency is obligated to apply and obtain it. This license does not permit its holder to carry on recruitment services outside Nigeria. The Domestic application Form can be downloaded from (https://labour.gov.ng/recruiters-licence/) and completed by companies seeking the License.


This License enables its holder to operate an employment agency within Nigeria as well as aiding the holder to make placement of Nigerians in jobs abroad. The International application Form can be downloaded from (https://labour.gov.ng/recruiters-licence/) and completed by Companies seeking the License.




The following are documents and information essential for the procurement of a recruitment permit from the Ministry of Labour and Employment:

  1. The application for Recruitment permit must be on the Letterhead paper of the company addressed to the state controller of the Federal Ministry of Labour, Lagos state office
  2. Appropriately Completed application form (Obtainable from https://ibechidoassociates.com/download-legal-documents/ )
  3. Photocopy of the receipt for the payment of the sum of N5,000 (This payment is made through remita)
  4. Memorandum and Articles of Association. (The Memorandum and Articles of association of the company being its grand norm must state that the company actually carry out the business of outsourcing manpower for recruitment purposes)
  5. A copy of the management profile to determine the proficiency of the management.
  6. Bank Guarantee/Insurance bond for the number of workers recruited.
    For Domestic application: Oil and Gas company should have an insurance bond of at least N3,000,000 for 1-100 employees and for over 100 employees N5,000,000, while other businesses should have insurance bonds worth N1,500,000 for 1-100 employees to N3,000,000 for over 100 employees.
    For International application: For the other Industry Sector were the number of Employees is between 1-100 would pay N3 Million and for Oil and Gas would pay N5 Million respectively also for the insurance bond. It is important to state that an Insurance Bond which is also known as an Investment Bond is an insurance investment offered by Life insurance companies in the form of a whole life term insurance policy which is basically for estate planning for long term investment.
  7. Photocopy of the Certificate of Incorporation from Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC)
  8. Evidence of Registration with a Pension Fund Administrator (PFA)
  9. Copy of contract letter of appointment for both permanent and recruited staff
  10. Copy of contract with client company (ies)
  11. Three Copies of the company’s Handbook/Conditions of Service (A booklet Form)
  12. Evidence of health insurance bond for the number of workers recruited
  13. Names, addresses and telephone numbers of Directors as contained in the Form CAC 7A of the Company
  14. Evidence of registration with NSITF (Employees Compensation)
  15. Training Policy for employee/recruited personnel
  16. Name(s) of union(s) which workers belong to.
  17. Registration with the Industrial Training Fund(ITF)
  18. Evidence of registration with a regulatory body in sectors of focal point
  19. Evidence of payment of License fee of N200,000

It is important to note that non-compliance with the requirement would lead to the return of documents until all requirements are met.

Below is a breakdown of relevant fees payable for fresh application and renewal of Domestic and International recruiter’s license.


TYPE Application Fees Fees Validity Period
Fresh Application N5000 200,000 2 years
Renewal N5000 100,000 1 year
Renewal N5000 200,000 3 years


TYPE Application Fees Fee Validity Period
Fresh Application N5,000 300,000 2 years
Renewal N5,000 300,000 2 years


After the requisite documents have been collated and submitted for processing, the following steps will be taken by the Ministry to ensure that appropriate confirmation and approval is given to guarantee a proper issuance of the License.


The First step the Ministry will take in order to ensure accurate issuance of a recruiter license after receiving an application from an applicant company is to assign the application to an officer(s) for the purpose of conducting an inspection of the applicant’s place of Business.


After the conclusion of the inspection by the inspector(s), a report of inspection will be prepared and sent to a desk officer of the Ministry who will in turn forward the report to the Minister’s office and will be attended to by the controller for processing.


Once the controller is satisfied with the application and the inspection report by the inspector(s) of the Ministry, a letter of confirmation will be issued which will portray the fact that the submission process of the applicant has been concluded. The Letter of confirmation can be utilized in place of the License pending when it is finally issued.


The next step will be to send the mandatory requisite documents to the Controller for final approval.


And once the application is approved by the Controller, a License fee of N200, 000 will be paid and evidence of payment will be sent to the Controller’s office in Abuja for the issuance of the recruiter’s license.

In conclusion, the essence of the issuance of an Employer’s permit/recruiter’s license to both employment agencies and Labour contractors is to ensure due diligence in the recruitment process of the Nigerian workforce as well as the protection of job seekers from fraudulent persons and companies parading themselves as a recruitment agency.

Okpi, Ibe Chinedu is the Principal Partner in the Law Firm of Ibe, Chido, and Associates (www.ibechidoassociates.com), with extensive knowledge in Corporate and Commercial Law Practice. He can be contacted via phone: 07069279374 or email: info@ibechidoassociates.com.

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