The Senate on Monday, called for a legal framework for the implementation of local content in other key sectors of the Nigerian economy.
Chairman, Senate Committee on Local Content, Sen. Teslim Folarin made the call in Abuja, during a two-day Joint Public Hearing on three bills.
The bills are: Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act, 2010 (Amendment) Bill, 2020 (SB.417).
Others are: the Nigerian Local Content Enforcement Bill, 2020 (SB.419); and Nigerian Oil and Gas Industrialised Content Act, 2010(Repeal and Re-Enactment Bill, 2020 (SB.420).
Folarin said that the Nigerian Local Content Enforcement Bill, 2020 sought to consolidate on the gains of the implementation of local content component in the oil and gas industry.
“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 Feb. 5, 2018 which seeks to improve local content procurement with regards to science, engineering and technology components of the economy,”Folarin said.
The chairman said that the rationale for separating the bill from the NOGICD Act was hinged on the peculiarity of the oil and gas industry which remained the bedrock of the nation’s economy.
“As a result, the sector requires a 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.”
While declaring the forum open, President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, said that local content was additionally very important as it related to being effective in harnessing other opportunities from oil and gas production.
“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.”
Lawan, who was represented by Deputy Minority Whip, Sen. Philip Aduda, said that the significance of value was far reaching in any system.
“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.”
In his submission, Mr Charles Epelle, Manager, Nigerian Content Development of Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas, (NLNG) said that the vision of the company was to help build a better Nigeria.
“As a consequence of this, we recognise the significance of a robust local content laws.”
Epelle said that local content laws helped to build capacity, makes the country competitive and provide employment for youths.