Senate Will Amend Local Content Act for Domestication
The Nigerian Content Act was promulgated in 2010 to enhance local participation in industrial activities. Although the Act is vibrant in the oil industry because it has supported indigenous firm’s involvement, only 28% of it has been attained.
Senator Solomon Olamilekan Adeola is the head, Senate Committee on Local Content, made it known at the 7th Practical Nigerian Content held in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State recently that local firms hold sway in the Nigerian oil industry. Adeola revealed that the Senate will amend the Local Content Act to affect other sectors and the purpose of the amendment is for domestication. The Senator representing Lagos West Senatorial District posited that the Upper Chamber will ensure that the Act is fully implemented so as to attain 70% by 2027.
How can Nigeria transforms its economy through Nigerian content?
I have said it in my speech that there is need for the country to expand the current Local Content Act to cover other sectors of the economy. Nigeria is doing well as it affects the oil and gas, there is tremendous improvement and local indigenous firms are now holding sway in the oil and gas industry. This same spirit should be extended to other sectors of the economy like communication, ICT, the manufacturing and construction industry. We believe that if there is an extension to this, there will be wider coverage of the Content Act. This will be a key driver for improving the economy by having active participation of local contractors into activities which in the past indigenous firms do not have access or participate.
To make a major driver, there is need for the Senate to amend the existing act and the Upper Chamber is working round the clock to ensure that the Act is particularly amended. Having done that, there is need for us to do proper implementation and monitoring to ensure that the act after being passed is implemented to the latter. This creates avenue for evaluation by ensuring aside proper implementation that the set target of the act is achieved through normal process. While trying to ensure that the Local Content Act has come to stay, the Senate will not allow compromise in whatever form or level because there will be a minimum standard which will be a key driver for all the law that is amended to be properly implemented and evaluated. The idea of amending the act or working on the act is not for Nigerianization but for domestication. Domestication in the sense that everyone will be aware that an act is in place that shows that for every activity certain percentage must be domesticated through the Local Content.
At present, has the Local Content Act improved in the country and what’s the future?
The country is not doing badly, this Act started about ten years ago, till date, if we evaluate it, compare to what we have in the past we are not there yet. Nigeria is currently at 28% only in oil and gas and it has not moved into other sectors. But in the oil and gas, Local Content has performed about 28% and hopefully we shall attain 70% having a gap of 42% come 2027. There is need for Nigeria to work assiduously to ensure that 70% is attained in 2027.
It is as if Local Content is only focused on the oil and gas industry and in your presentation, you were talking about local products manufactured in Aba. Why has made in Aba manufactured products not known beyond Nigeria?
We are trying to draw an inference from what happened during the days of made in China. Nigeria can also create made in Aba which culminates into Nigerian brand that will be for the beneficiary of its citizens. But the crux of the matter is, the bill needs to be extended to cover all these areas.
It is not easy to convince an average Nigerian about products made in Aba. What effort is the National Assembly doing to convince Nigerians to patronize Aba manufactured products?
We are not going into made in Aba just like that, it is the Act that will make made in Aba to be sustainable and enforceable because there are certain percentage of everything that will be domesticated in the country. In the process, made in Aba will evolve on its own and before we know it, Nigeria will be like other countries through its manufactured products.