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Tuesday, 20 October 2020

Local Content: Federal Government Excludes Foreign Firms From Contracts Less Than N5billion

The Federal Government Tuesday, declared that contracts not above N5billion, will no longer be awarded to any foreign firm in the country as a way of patronising the indigenous firms in line with the planned ammendment to the local content laws in the country.

Making the declaration during an interface with the National Assembly joint committees on Local Content, the Minister of State, Works and Housing,  Abubakar D. Aliyu said contracts worth N5billion and below, are to be exclusively preserved for indigenous firms.

"As part of measures being put in place for strengthening of local content laws in the country, contracts that are not more than N5billion are to be exclusive preserve of indigenous firms or companies for bidding, award and execution", he said.

But when asked by the Chairman of the Senate Committee on local content, Senator Teslim Folarin (APC Oyo Central), on whether the new policy affects  construction firms like Julius Berger, the Minister said proper categorisation will be done to determine that.

"Julius Berger PLC is more or less, an  indigenalised foreign firm going by high  involvement of Nigerians in its operations and management over the years which makes its categorization in this respect a bit difficult", he said.

He added that other measures like registration of expatriates and proof of valid residence permit etc, are also part of recommendations being included in the local content development bill.

Earlier in his remarks at the commencement of the second day session, Senator Folarin said the three bills being considered, are very important and sacrosanct to the development of the country’s oil and gas industry, which is one of the most viable sectors of the economy. 
He  explained that the Bills, among other things, seek to consolidate on the gains of the implementation of local content component in the oil and gas industry, pursuant to the enactment of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act, 2010.

"One of the Bills 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.

"The enactment of this Bill, will no doubt, provide the legal basis for the enforcement of the Presidential Evecutive Order No. 5 of 5th February, 2018, which seeks to improve local content procurement with regards to science, engineering and technology
components of the economy", he said.

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