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National Assembly to extend local content law to other sectors of economy


Simbi Kesiye Wabote. PHOTO:SweetCrudeRepors

Plans are underway by the National Assembly to extend the local content initiative to other critical sectors of the economy.Specifically, the law making chambers are considering using power, construction and Information Communication Technology sector to test-run the initiative.

The collaboration was firmed up recently at a policy dialogue organized by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) for members of the House of Representatives Committee on Local Content, in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.The participants agreed that extending the Nigerian Content Act to key sectors would replicate the achievements recorded in the oil and gas industry through the implementation of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act.

In his presentation on operationalizing local content in the construction sector, Chief Executive Officer, Megastar Construction Company, Harcourt Adukeh, stated that the construction industry could be a key driver of the Federal Government’s economic diversification programme when the prevailing dominance of the industry by international companies is reversed.

Adukeh underscored the need to encourage indigenous participation in the construction sector, adding that the industry was a key enabler of ancillary services like financial services, education, retail, real estate and hospitality.

Speaking on local content in the power sector, Commissioner, Engineering, Performance and Monitoring, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Prof. Frank Okafor, while emphasizing the need for local manufacturing of power equipment, highlighted that no country had grown its power network through the importation of all components and devices.

He canvassed a legislation that would promote deliberate utilization of local, human and material resources, goods and services in the power sector.
Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Local Content, Emmanuel Ekon, in his address, highlighted some of the achievements recorded in the oil and gas industry through the implementation of the Nigerian Content Act.

He explained that the planned extension of the Nigerian Content Act to other sectors was in line with the Federal Government’s Executive Order on patronage of made in Nigeria goods. Ekon assured that members of the committee would work with stakeholders in the various sectors to develop a robust Local Content legislation.

The Executive Secretary, NCDMB, Simbi Wabote, commended the National Assembly for the support they provide to the Nigerian Content implementation process.
He added that the achievements in the oil and gas industry made it imperative that the Nigerian Act should be extended to other key sectors of the economy.

According to him, some of the capacities already developed in country in the oil and gas sector could easily be deployed in other sectors.Wabote informed that the Nigerian oil and gas supply chain is now able to retain $5 billion from the annual $20 billion spend, a marked departure from the past when almost the whole budget ended up in foreign economies.

The Executive Secretary added that the Nigerian industry had developed capacity to handle more than 60,000 tonnes of fabrication per year while all cables required in the oil and gas sector are being manufactured in-country.

“We are proud of these achievements but our vision is to achieve 70 per cent in-country value retention within the next 10 years and retain $14 billion out of the $20 billion spend yearly,” he explained.

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NCDMBSimbi Wabote
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