Chinazor Megbolu |
The Nigeria’s Senate has stressed the importance of having a strong legal framework for the implementation of local content in other key sectors of the country’s economy.
Speaking on Monday during a two-day Joint Public Hearing on three Bills in Abuja, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Local Content, Mr. Teslim Folarin said that the Nigerian Local Content Enforcement Bill, 2020 is seeking to consolidate on the gains of the implementation of local content component in the oil and gas sector.
According to Folarin; “this is pursuant to the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act, 2010.
“The bill also seeks to provide the needed legal framework for the implementation of local content in other key sectors of the economy, including power, ICT, construction and transportation, etc.
“The enactment of this bill, will no doubt, provide the legal basis for the enforcement of the Presidential Executive Order No.5 of February 5, 2018, which seeks to improve local content procurement with regards to science, engineering and technology components of the economy”.
He explained that the rationale for separating the bill from the NOGICD Act was based on the peculiarity of the oil and gas sector that remains the bedrock of the Nigeria’s economy.
“As a result, the sector requires specialised legislation for effective and efficient management of its operations and activities.
“Another reason for introducing this bill is to ensure that the governance structure of the NOGICD Act, is not distorted.
“This will place additional responsibilities on the implementation of the NOGICD Act, which will be counterproductive to the gains already recorded through the enactment of the Act.”
Meanwhile, the President of the Senate, Mr. Ahmad Lawan, who was represented by Deputy Minority Whip, Sen. Philip Aduda, in his remarks said that local content is very vital and effective in harnessing other opportunities from oil and gas production, which he said was an additional advantage.
“In adding value to our economy from the oil and gas industry, we are responding to the call to expand our gains beyond resource revenue.
“They deal with substance. They are also of high quality, because it goes beyond a primary benefit, to the documentation of multiple avenues for content development.
“Content is value-adding, and enriching, aside from its ability to promote originality.
“Uniqueness further comes from good thinking, purposefulness and consistency in policy outlines, which also depends on good laws.
“With good laws, we can shape our activities for decency and for compliance with international best practices.
“Developing our capacities and capabilities from our human and material resources, aside from resource revenue in the oil and gas industry is one goal we have long identified,” Lawan said.
The Bills for the legal framework includes; Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act, 2010 (Amendment) Bill, 2020 (SB.417), the Nigerian Local Content Enforcement Bill, 2020 (SB.419); and Nigerian Oil and Gas Industrialised Content Act, 2010 (Repeal and Re-Enactment Bill, 2020).
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