Post COVID-19: We're determined to pass local content bill to boost Nigeria's economy - Reps

Post COVID-19: We're determined to pass local content bill to boost Nigeria's economy - Reps

- The world is preparing for measures in boosting economies after the ease of global lockdown

- Nigeria is not left in the global efforts to kick-start economies worldwide

- The House of Representatives is leading the charge with a progressive bill to help boost the economy

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The Nigerian National Assembly, is once again, saddled with the responsibility of coming up with a legislative initiative that would help rejuvenate the nation's economy and help Nigerians overcome the economic downturn that would likely occur after the COVID-19 pandemic.

One swift step that must be taken by the National Assembly, is to give serious attention to, and speedily pass the local content enforcement bill.

The bill which is known as, the Nigerian Local Content Development and Enforcement Bill 2020, passed second reading on the floor of the House of Representatives, on Tuesday, May 19.

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Amongst other things, the bill seeks to expand the scope of local content in the extant NOGICD Act, thereby putting the Nigerian economy in the hands of Nigerians, creating jobs and enhancing the value of indigenous businesses in the post-COVID-19 era.

Spokesman of the House, Honourable Benjamin Kalu, while analysing the general principles of the bill on Monday, May 25, said the idea of local content bill or policy was to encourage local participation, ownership and control of certain key sectors by indigenous businesses.

Post COVID-19: We're determined to pass local content bill to boost Nigeria's economy - Reps
House of Reps spokesman, Hon. Benjamin Kalu, highlights the benefits of the local content bill, Photo credit: Martha Madumere
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“This is vital to preserving Nigeria’s socioeconomic independence and enhancing the ability of indigenous businesses to exploit local opportunities while staying globally competitive,” Kalu said.

He continued: “So far, the key local content legislation in Nigeria is the 10-year old Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act 2010 (NOGICDA), which established the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) but is limited to the oil sector.

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“Also notable, are the president’s efforts to extend local content compliance to the public procurement practices of federal parastatals vide his Executive Orders 003 and 005.

“In the light of the current COVID-19 induced global economic position which has forced countries to look inwards for economic growth and sustainability, it has become imperative to extend local content policy beyond the petroleum industry to other critical sectors like, ICT, manufacturing, agriculture, power, solid minerals, construction, health, etc, through comprehensive legislation.”

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Meanwhile, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, has assured citizens that Nigeria’s $37billion current foreign reserves is

Emefiele gave the assurance during a virtual meeting held recently with Chief Executive Officers of conglomerates in the country.

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