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Local Content: FG excludes foreign firms from contracts below N5billion

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The Federal Government Tuesday, declared that contracts below N5billion, would no longer be awarded to any foreign firms in the country as a way of patronising the indigenous firms in line with the planned 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 N5 billion are to be exclusive preserve of indigenous firms or companies for bidding, award and execution” , he said .

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But when asked by the Chairman of the Committee, 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 indigenised 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 .

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He added that other measures like registration of expatriates and proof of valid residence permit etc, are also part of recommendations being made into 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.

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“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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