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Senate Seeks Implementation Of Local Content In Key Sectors Of Economy 

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The Senate on Monday called for a legal framework for the implementation of local content in other key sectors of the Nigerian economy.
Chairman, Senate Committee on Local Content, Sen. Teslim Folarin made the call in Abuja, during a two-day Joint Public Hearing on three bills.
The News Agency of Nigeria, (NAN) reports that the bills are: Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act, 2010 (Amendment) Bill, 2020 (SB.417).
Others are the Nigerian Local Content Enforcement Bill, 2020 (SB.419); and Nigerian Oil and Gas Industrialised Content Act, 2010(Repeal and Re-Enactment Bill, 2020 (SB.420).
Folarin said that the Nigerian Local Content Enforcement Bill, 2020 sought to consolidate on the gains of the implementation of local content component in the oil and gas industry.
“This is pursuant to the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act, 2010.
“The bill 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, etc.
“The enactment of this Bill, will no doubt, provide the legal basis for the enforcement of the Presidential Executive Order No. 5 of Feb. 5, 2018, which seeks to improve local content procurement with regards to science, engineering and technology components of the economy,” Folarin said.
The chairman said that the rationale for separating the bill from the NOGICD Act was hinged on the peculiarity of the oil and gas industry which remained the bedrock of the nation’s economy.
“As a result, the sector requires specialised legislation for effective and efficient management of its operations and activities.
“Another reason for introducing this bill is to ensure that the governance structure of the NOGICD Act, is not distorted.
“This will place additional responsibilities on the implementation of the NOGICD Act, which will be counterproductive to the gains already recorded through the enactment of the Act.”
While declaring the forum open, President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, said that local content was additionally very important as it related to being effective in harnessing other opportunities from oil and gas production.
“In adding value to our economy from the oil and gas industry, we are responding to the call to expand our gains beyond resource revenue.”
Lawan, who was represented by Deputy Minority Whip, Sen. Philip Aduda, said that the significance of value was far-reaching in any system.
“They deal with substance. They are also of high quality, because it goes beyond a primary benefit, to the documentation of multiple avenues for content development.
“Content is value-adding, and enriching, aside from its ability to promote originality.
“Uniqueness further comes from good thinking, purposefulness and consistency in policy outlines, which also depends on good laws.
“With good laws, we can shape our activities for decency and for compliance with international best practices.
“Developing our capacities and capabilities from our human and material resources, aside from resource revenue in the oil and gas industry is one goal we have long identified.”
In his submission, Mr Charles Epelle, Manager, Nigerian Content Development of Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas, (NLNG) said that the vision of the company was to help build a better Nigeria.
“As a consequence of this, we recognise the significance of a robust local content law.”
Epelle said that local content laws helped to build capacity, makes the country competitive and provide employment for youths.
(NAN)

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Minister Affirms Nigeria Air Will Take Off April 2022

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Nigeria’s national carrier, Nigeria Air, will take off by April 2022, Hadi Sirika, minister of aviation, said on Wednesday.

The minister announced the take-off date while briefing state house correspondents after the federal executive council (FEC) meeting at the presidential villa, Abuja.

He said the national carrier will be run by a company in which the Nigerian government will hold a five percent stake while Nigerian entrepreneurs will hold 46 percent.

He said the remaining 49 percent will be reserved for yet to be assigned strategic equity partners, including foreign investors.

Sirika said the national carrier, when operational, will create about 70,000 jobs for Nigerians.

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Nigeria Needs $1.5trn To Bridge Infrastructure Gap, Says Buhari

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President Muhammadu Buhari says Nigeria needs $1.5 trillion within a 10-year period to achieve an appreciable level of infrastructural development.

According to a statement by Garba Shehu, presidential spokesperson, Buhari said this on Tuesday at the COP26 side event on improving global infrastructure.

COP26 is currently holding in Glasgow, Scotland.

The president said his administration has taken infrastructure expansion in Nigeria seriously, while being conscious of the fact that new investments in critical sectors of the economy would aid lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty by 2030.

“There is a nexus between infrastructural development and the overall economic development of a nation,” Buhari said.

“My administration identified this early enough as a major enabler of sustainable economic development and the realisation of other continental and global development aspirations, particularly the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals.

“On my assumption of office in 2015, Nigeria faced a huge infrastructure deficit and the total National Infrastructure Stock was estimated at 35% of our Gross Domestic Product.

“In solving these problems, we embarked on a massive infrastructure expansion programme in the areas of Health care, Education, Transportation, Manufacturing, Energy, Housing, Agriculture, and Water Resources.

“We provided more financial resources for these policies, charted new international partnerships and pursued liberalisation policies to allow private sector participation.

“We introduced the revised National Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan – a policy document that ensures our infrastructure expansion projects is cross-sectorally integrated and environmentally friendly.”

The president welcomed the plan of the G7 countries to mobilise hundreds of billions of dollars of infrastructure investment for low- and middle-income countries.

He noted that the ‘Build Back Better World’ plan, an initiative of the G7 countries, is expected to be a value-driven, high-standard, and transparent infrastructure partnership.

Buhari also told the world leaders that Nigeria is open to investment in infrastructural development.

‘‘Nigeria is ready for your investments in infrastructural development in the country,” he said.

‘‘My administration has established a clear legal and regulatory framework for private financing of infrastructure to establish a standard process, especially on the monitoring and evaluation process.

‘‘We look forward to working with you in this regard.”

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PenCom Moves To Diversify Pension Funds Portfolios, Reduce FG’s Pension Liabilities

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By Sola Alabadan

The National Pension Commission (PenCom) has promised to focus efforts on facilitating increased diversification of Pension Fund portfolios, as well as aggressively pursue efforts aimed at reducing pension liabilities of the Federal Government.
PenCom’s Director General, Mrs. Aisha Dahir Umar, stated this in her report contained in the 2020 annual report of the commission made available today.
She also assured that the commission would seek to expand coverage of the Contributory Pension Scheme in States, Local Governments and the informal sector; while also enhancing public awareness campaign efforts, and striving to improve service delivery in the industry.
Going forward, the PenCom boss pointed out that the commission would re-evaluate the milestones of the past years and consolidate its efforts to build a future-ready and resilient work environment underpinned by various initiatives.
She emphasised that PenCom’s focus shall be on a five-prong strategic approach that steadily pursues and addresses identified gaps while creating a more agile organisation with a culture that supports innovation and continuous improvement.
Meanwhile, the annual report indicated that the Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) generated total earnings of N109.68billion in 2020, representing an increase of 3% when compared with the N106.70billion recorded in 2019.
The combined operating expenses incurred by the PFAs amounted to N55.20billion, while profits before taxes amounted to N54.48billion.
The major source of income for the PFAs was fund management fees, which accounted for over 80% of total Income.
The PFAs recorded a combined Return on Assets of 30.07% and a combined Return on Equity of 35.19%. This indicated that the PFAs sustained their profitability in the year under review.
The six CPFAs generated a total revenue (income and transfers from Sponsors) of N2.68billion, which was a 7.58% decrease compared to the N2.90bllion generated in 2019.
The major source of revenue for the CPFAs were inflows from their sponsor companies, which constituted 55% of their total revenue, while management fees and investment income accounted for 41% and 4%, respectively.
The CPFAs incurred a total expenditure of N2.74billion and a combined profit of N52.38million in 2020. Operating expenses comprised mainly of staff costs, which accounted for over 69% of operating expenses.
The PFCs generated a combined income of N24.09billion, representing a 2.75% decrease when compared with the N24.77billion generated in 2019.
The major source of income for the PFCs was custodial fees, which constituted 80% of their total income, while investment income and other income accounted for about 20% of PFCs total income.
The PFCs incurred total operating expenses of N7.73billion and a combined profit of N16.36billion in 2020. This indicated a 12.61% decline in the PFCs’ profitability when compared to the N18.72 billion recorded in 2019.

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