Hitherto, Nigeria has solely ever tried to bolster native content material via the singular laws that gave beginning to the Nigerian Oil and Gasoline Trade Content material Improvement Act 2010 (NOGICDA).
The President’s intervention via Government Orders is a recognizable try to increase native content material coverage past the Oil and Gasoline business to different sectors, thus translating the perceivable positive factors of indigenous companies in that sector throughout different sectors of the Nigerian financial system.
Following from the noticeable shortcomings of the President’s Government Orders to strengthen native content material and placing it right down to the Orders limitations in scope and enforceability to the general public procurement practices of Ministries, Departments and Businesses (MDAS) of the Federal Authorities the Nationwide Meeting led within the Home of Representatives by Rt Hon Legor Idagbo and within the Senate by Sen Teslim Folarin have sought to make native content material aspirations enforceable via the Nigerian Native Content material Improvement and Enforcement Invoice 2020.
I laud the foremost champions of this laws, from the Speaker of the Home of Representatives, Rt Hon Femi Gbajabiamila via to Rt Hon Legor Idagbo, their colleagues to Senator Teslim Folarin and different Senator’s within the Pink Chamber.
Nevertheless, I pose a salient query to them why accept 10 per cent, which in a rating marking of as much as a 100 per cent is one thing however nonetheless abysmal! Why accept that when it’s inside your attain to aspire to a particular rating of over 80 per cent and extra! Greater than ever, the Nigerian folks want a particular shot at job alternatives.
The NOGICDA template of the Oil and Gasoline business can’t be copy and pasted onto different sectors of the financial system. The Oil and Gasoline business by it’s very nature is what could be labeled as a heavy lifting sector, with excessive finish investments that manifest periodically in intervals of 5 and ten years.
The upstream phase, which is essentially the most vibrant within the Oil and Gasoline sector is geared in the direction of exportation. This business can’t by any means be used as a measurement for every other sector within the financial system because it’s peculiarities are uniquely it’s personal!
I’ll argue that ours shouldn’t be an issue of lack of legal guidelines for certainly we may simply by accepted procedural coverage implement the strengthening of indigenous companies as has been finished in different climes. Alas, what inhibits us is the spectre of a legion of legal guidelines mined with trapdoors that working towards public actor illusionists will at all times discover throughout acts of escapism. On the peak of the lockdown introduced on by COVID – 19, arising from a proclamation by the President directing patronage of Made-in-Nigeria the echo of the Presidents voice was barely gone, when the Federal Government Council permitted a procurement contract of overseas merchandise for the NPA!
The omnibus Native Content material 2020 Invoice presently going via the processes, like each Government Orders Signpost: comfort, desire, need the continuance of when it’s okay by us we go native content material mantra. Therein lies the Crux of the matter the ever current trapdoors for political actors and public officers to pervert legal guidelines at their whim and caprice.
There needs to be nothing discretional about strengthening our indigenous companies. It mustn’t even require legal guidelines for us to altruistically settle for and propagate native content material because it makes social, financial and political sense to take action.
It isn’t the multiplicity or lack of legal guidelines or Government Orders or steering that ails us. It’s the preponderance of magicians who wander round our public areas. The trapdoors have to be taken out completely.
There have to be no ambiguity! There needs to be no trapdoors for anybody to wriggle via. The provisions of any new laws have to be iron clad to compel the Federal Authorities Ministries, Departments and Businesses (MDAS) to mandatorily purchase, supply and contract made in Nigeria, save that it can’t be made, sourced or finished regionally.
Consequent upon any breach of this legislation, which needs to be thought-about as financial sabotage/terrorism, we suggest that offenders needs to be liable to termination of employment/workplace and for political workplace holders a life ban from holding public workplace. A seven yr time period of imprisonment with out the choice of a high-quality also needs to be concurrently imposed. With out ambiguity, infringement of this legislation would be the best to show Nationwide Meeting and Citizen oversight shall be a mite simpler than is the norm in our nation the place legal guidelines are laden with “trapdoors”!
The direct consequence of this laws shall be to lock in stone backward linkage growth, sustained creation of employment alternatives, infrastructure growth, elevated indigenous enterprise participation and capability constructing. It’ll additionally put us firmly on the trail in the direction of evolving ahead linkages. The very nature of the laws will pressure and convey about sound regulatory coverage monitoring and good useful resource administration.
The President has proven his robust need for the strengthening of indigenous companies via good intentioned Government Order 003 and Government Order 005. That’s the extent to which he can go and in a rustic the place political and public officers haven’t made it an artwork type to pervert the system Presidential Government Orders would ordinarily result in swift coverage compliance.
The Nationwide Meeting should choose up the gauntlet and at no time in our historical past in these novel occasions of COVID 19 does that duty weigh extra closely.
As Ambassador of Nigerian Trade and Enterprise and beneath the auspices of MyTribeNigeria Initiative I’ve written an open letter to Parliamentarians which was duly acknowledged by the Workplace of the Clerk of the Nationwide Meeting on 18/08/20 An Open Letter To The Nationwide Meeting, Federal Republic Of Nigeria Coronavirus Compliant Advocacy For A Legislation Compelling Authorities To Purchase Made In Nigeria.
The pressing and demanding crucial of this laws is abundantly highlighted within the letter. To Nationwide Meeting members I say this isn’t a time for beauty choices however for arduous and resolute choices that may impactfully result in lasting and useful change to the Nigerian folks. It is going to be very well timed certainly if this proposed laws is integrated into the revised Native Content material Act presently within the works. In any other case it is going to be a stand alone Invoice whichever manner, it should come to be to provide Nigerians an opportunity.
For Tribenians the mandate is as follows to resolutely, with the help of fellow Nigerians proceed the advocacy for this laws on the resumption of Plenary of the Nationwide Meeting. To on the fruition of an Act of the Nationwide Meeting compelling the Federal Authorities to purchase made-in-Nigeria transfer on to the following section in advocating for the domestication of the Act by all sub – nationwide federating items within the nation.
We should develop capability and develop jobs and authorities have to be with and never by the Nigerian folks on this lifetime endeavor. Our salvation and the sustainability of the Nigerian Enterprise calls for it! We should open up sustainable pathways for job creation. We ask for the help of members of the Nationwide Meeting. We ask for the help of Nigerians as we march on.
[Victor Ikhatalor is the Ambassador of Nigerian Industry and Business. He is on twitter as: @MyTribeNigeria]