FG bars foreign firms bidding for contracts below N5bn … as firm takes over Peugeot with $150m investment

Chinazor Megbolu   |   
The Federal Government has barred foreign firms bidding for contracts of below N5 billion. The government said such contract award to foreign organisations won’t be entertained anymore in Nigeria.
The Minister of State for Works and Housing, Mallam Abubakar Aliyu made this known at a public hearing arranged by the National Assembly’s joint committees on local content.
He  stated that  the decision was in a bid to boost the local content laws as well as facilitate patronage of indigenous companies and services.
According to him; “as part of measures being put in place for the strengthening of local content laws in the country, contracts that are not more than N5 billion are to be exclusive preserve of indigenous firms or companies for bidding, award and execution”.
Aliyu also noted that appropriate categorisation would be done to determine whether the policy shift would affect construction companies.
“Julius Berger Plc is more or less an indigenised foreign firm going by high involvement of Nigerians in its operations and management over the years, which makes its categorisation in this respect a bit difficult,” Aliyu said.
He maintained that registration of expatriates and evidence of valid residence permit among others are also part of the prescriptions being embedded into the local content development bill.
Meanwhile, Chairman, Senate Committee on Local Content, Senator Teslim Folarin noted the three bills being considered were crucial to the progress of the nation’s energy industry.
The bills, he noted, is geared towards strengthening the gains of the execution of local content component in the oil and gas sector.
Folarin added that it’s also in pursuant to the enactment of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Development Act 2010.
In another development, a new investor, NESBITT Investment Nigeria Limited has taken over Peugeot Automobile Nigeria (PAN) with $150 million Investment.
NESBITT Investment Nigeria Limited also hinted that it will invest $150 million in the company over the next three years.
The firm pointed out the fund would be invested in retooling and upgrading the Peugeot’s assembly line, as well as support infrastructure and working capital.
The new Chairman, Mr. Ahmed Aliyu, in his remarks said the firm would soon roll out new and affordable vehicles for Nigerian citizenry.
He said the company would re-launch brand affordability in the country to allow the citizens to buy brand new vehicles and also buttressed there will be a robust car-financing scheme to be run in partnership with dealers and selected banks.

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