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Okowa canvasses transparency in local content agency’s operations

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Ifeanyi Okowa

Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, yesterday, charged State Local Content Agency, to ensure transparency and adhere strictly to the law to achieve its mandate.

Okowa, who gave the charge while inaugurating the Director-General of the agency, Morris Idiovwa, disclosed that the agency was the creation of the Delta State Local Content Agency Law of September 16, 2020.

He stated that the creation of the agency marked its formal commencement of operations and urged Idiovwa to be transparent, selfless, disciplined, fair, firm and focused at all times.

The governor explained that local content was the value companies or industries brought to national and sub-national economies, adding that such value was assessed in terms of employment, sourcing of raw materials from their host communities and patronage of local contractors as a matter of obligation.

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“This is especially so when it involves extractive industries. Besides employment generation, available evidence indicates that local content development boosts industrialisation, facilitates economic inclusion and enhances ease of doing business.

“By virtue of its coastal nature, Delta State is host to several extractive industries and as our industrialisation drive gathers momentum, local content policy becomes imperative.

“This is to ensure that companies generate substantial local content, while ensuring compliance with standards and targets in extant rules, regulations and individual contracts,” he said.

Okowa said the agency would, among other things, put in place a framework to enhance ability of indigenous companies to exploit local opportunities, while staying competitive.

He pointed out that it would also monitor and ensure compliance with provisions of the law, organise, coordinate and provide capacity-building and specialised programmes and initiate projects, including training for entrepreneurship development.

Other roles of the agency are, to streamline, coordinate and embark on programmes to increase indigenous local content in the operation of companies in the state, facilitate provision of local content jobs and project partnership with local, national and international organisations, among others.

He charged Idiovwa to ensure that the agency developed and maintained a database of all companies operating in the state in line with the law, which stipulates that they shall maintain 70 per cent local content participation of the state’s indigenes in their operations.

Responding, Idiovwa pledged to ensure that the vision of the programme was achieved through the input of stakeholders.

He thanked Okowa for finding him worthy to serve the state in that capacity, stressing that with the inauguration of the agency, the state would enjoy inclusiveness, as far as the local content law was concerned.

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