NCDMB boss seeks extension of local content policy to boost employment
Further extension of the local content policy to other sectors of the economy would boost employment generation and aid economic diversification, the Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Content Development Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Simbi Wabote has said.
The NCDMB chief stated this recently in Port Harcourt at an event organized by the Institute of Directors (IoD).
Speaking on, ‘addressing unemployment: local content option’, Wabote observed that for many years, until lately, Nigeria had regarded crude oil as a commodity, instead of a resource – a situation which resulted in the loss of all in-country value adding activities and opportunity to capture the full benefits of the derivatives of crude oil.
He noted that the enactment of local content law in the oil and gas industry and its implementation has become a game changer, helping Nigeria to claw back work, services and spend which used to leave the country to other parts of the world.
He reiterated that the essence of local content policy is ‘domiciliation and domestication’ of the operationalization of oil and gas sector.
Stating that the oil and gas sector is not a huge employer of labour, compared to agriculture, the Executive Secretary commended the current emphasis on agriculture and diversification by the Federal Government.
He also lauded the Federal Government’s reinforcement of the local content policy through the issuance of Executive Order five, which is specifically designed to boost local content practice in other critical sectors of the economy.
He argued that with the huge unemployment figure of about 16 million from the Bureau of Statistics (NBS), a staggering number equal to the total population of three West African countries of Sierra Leone, Togo and Liberia, Nigeria needs to extend Local Content practice to other critical sectors like Agriculture, ICT, Construction, Power and Manufacturing in order to tackle the scourge of unemployment in the country.
Wabote also argued that for Nigeria to derive full benefits from Agriculture, it must look at the various derivatives across Agricultural supply chain as to create jobs and boost the economy.
He was quick to cautioned against a repeat the mistake of ‘commodity trading’ with agriculture.