‘Operators should harness local content law for inclusive growth’
…As NCDMB targets 70 per cent utilisation by 2027
Stakeholders have sought for an aggressive active participation of Nigerian companies to actively use the Local Content Act, as a tool to develop the country’s huge natural resources for economic development, while also dispersing wealth generated for inclusive growth.This was the consensus reached by stakeholders from different sectors of the economy at a breakfast meeting organised by the Nigerian American Chamber of Commerce (NACC), in Lagos.
Indeed, NACC through its national president, Oluwatoyin Akomolafe, said the policy has been identified as a strategy to increase the participation of local firms in the value-chain of various sectors; improve inbound logistics and also create more employment opportunities for the indigenous workforce.
Meanwhile, the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Simbi Wabote, announced plans to take the current level of local content rate of 28 per cent to 70 per cent by 2027.Wabote, who was represented by the Director, Planning Research and Statistics, NCDMB, Patrick Obah, said key parameters required for sustainable local content include, incentives; capacity gap analysis; research and development and capacity building.
He stated that the content policy is still faced with challenges ranging from weak sectoral linkages, weak infrastructural base, policy inconsistency, skill gap, and the economic factor. Akomolafe, who was represented by the vice president of the chamber, Ehi Braimah, said the adoption of local content policy for the benefits of developing oil-rich countries is hardly new, but the continuous debate has often centred on increasing the value added that local content can create within the oil industry.
He added that the level to which local policy can achieve this goal is some countries has not yet been ascertained, stressing that in Nigeria, the impact of the policy on local value creation has generated divergent speculation.He said several studies have shown dramatic increase in local capacity utilisation attracting over $5billion into the local economy while also creating employment opportunities.
“As a foremost bilateral chamber of commerce, we believe in the extension of the local content drive and the immediate synergies for local development in other sectors,” he said.
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, Bitru Nabasu, represented by the Director, Science and Technology Promotion, Ekanem Udoh, said the presidential Executive Order 005 is a revolutionary document aimed driving local production by way of value addition, stressing that the present administration is in the process of making the document a law and not just an order.He pointed out that other countries of the world have developed because they prioritised developmental efforts towards harnessing their natural resources and investing in human capacity development.
In her presentation, a principal consultant, Lonadek Inc, Dr. Ibilola Amao, said local content should be strategic and not operational, saying that for Nigeria to rub shoulders with its counterparts there is need to bridge the gap between industries and academia.
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