- ‘Local Content Law’ll be Extended to Other Sectors’
The House of Representatives has said henceforth any infraction of the Local Content Law, which seeks to ensure adequate participation of Nigerians in the oil and gas industry, will no longer be tolerated.
It, therefore, vowed to beam its searchlight on the power, construction, telecom, as well as the Information and Communication Technology sectors to ensure adequate participation of Nigerians in the industries.
The Chairman, House Committee on Local Content, Mr. Emmanuel Ekon, said this in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital, when he led other committee members on a visit to the headquarters of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board.
He said the law was being expanded to capture other sectors being dominated by foreigners.
During the two-day visit, which took the lawmakers to the permanent site of an ongoing 17-storey office building of the NCDMB and the Polaku Pipe Mill at Gbarain, Ekon noted that all key sectors must buy into the new vision to patronise Nigeria and employ Nigerians.
He stated, “The multinationals must patronise these people, even the Central Bank of Nigeria, which is still building its headquarters using foreign companies.
“We want the multinationals to remit one per cent of their funds, which is enshrined in the law. As I said, the first reading has been passed. We are waiting to do some legislative fireworks to fine-tune the bill for the President’s assent before the end of this year.”
On the major sectors to be affected when the law, which is already before the House of Representatives is expanded, Ekon said, “The key sectors will be power and construction. They are very important.”
He also urged the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company to comply with the law and ensure the remission of a percentage to ensure that the local content law was implemented without inhibition.
He commended the leadership of the NCDMB board for its strides despite the challenges, stressing that the committee would help it to succeed.
Ekon said, “We are ready to partner the board to ensure all the challenges are surmounted within the shortest time. We will synergise; where there’s chaos, we can’t achieve anything.
“We are overwhelmed by what we have seen. A lot of money has been spent here. I keep telling people that the cost of construction in the Niger Delta is like in some parts of Lagos too. The challenges here are enormous.’’
The Executive Secretary of the NCDMB, Mr. Simbi Wabote, noted that the board had increased the marine vessel utilisation to 36 per cent, which was just about three per cent when he took over.