‘Why NCDMB, MAN must strategise for implementation of local content’
Nigeria’s current economic situation and job crisis could worsen if the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), and other stakeholders fail to double efforts on developing local content in the country, Managing Director, Mudiame International Limited, Sunny Eromosele, has said.
Speaking at a briefing on National Welding Capacity Development Plan in Abuja, Eromosele disclosed that though President Muhammadu Buhari had signed an executive order (Executive Order Five), to reverse job loses to expatriates and boost economic activities, Nigeria still spend over $10 billion yearly to hire certified welders into the country.
While the executive order aimed at increasing domestic production of goods and services and creating jobs in science, technology and engineering on one hand, the order equally prohibits issuing of visas to foreign workers whose skills are readily available in Nigeria.
Eromosele, who also operates Mudiame Welding Institute, stated that the country lacks the strategy necessary for implementing the policy.He said the current skill gap has resulted in the influx of foreigners into the country such that the nation’s current railway projects and the ongoing Dangote Refinery are being handled by over 90 per cent Indians and Chinese.
Eromosele, who noted that MAN and other stakeholders must pressure government to set up proper implementation mechanism for Executive Order No. 5, especially in the areas of strengthening institutions, said critical sectors of the economy is being overlooked in the country.
Eromosele described as unfortunate the fact that the international community compel their standards on Nigeria in the event of project execution in the country.“That will not allow our Nigerian personnel to participate in project like the ongoing rail construction and Dangote Refinery Construction. About 90 per cent of the people working on these projects are Chinese and Indians”, he added.He decried the idea of personnel certification system run by most International Oil Companies (IOCs), especially Saipem, Chevron, and others.
“We need the harmonisation of our personnel’s qualification so that the ideas of personnel certification system by some companies like Saipem, Chevron, and others will be eradicated.“The role of Stakeholders must also be harmonised so that the Nigerian stakeholders will have common goals and role to play on all project executed depending on their areas of specialisations,” Eromosele added.
He urged Buhari and the NCDMB being led by Simbi Wabote to channel efforts towards developing a key sector like welding.
“Welding is vital to national economy and part of our society’s infrastructure; it ranks high among industrial processes and involves more sciences and variables than those involved in any other industrial process.
“As a stakeholder and promoter of welding activities and practices in country, there are a lot of challenges that are faced by welding industries and welding practitioners in Nigeria, among such challenges to mention are few which include political interference by the international communities and lack of development of Nigeria national standards.”
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