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Post COVID-19 era: 7 reasons why N’Assembly must pass local content Bill

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By Yemi Itodo

As the world prepares for measures in boosting economies after the ease of global lockdown, the Nigerian National Assembly, is once again, saddled with the responsibility of coming up with legislative piece and actions that could help rejuvenate the nation’s economy and help Nigerians overcome post-Corona virus hardship. adsbygoogle || []).push({}); adsbygoogle || []).push({});

One swift step that must be taken by both Houses of the National Assembly, is to give serious attention to, and speedily pass the local content enforcement Bill.

The Bill which is known as, the Nigerian Local Content Development and Enforcement Bill 2020, passed second reading on the floor of the House of Representatives, on Tuesday, 19th May, 2020.

The Bill is being sponsored by the Speaker, House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila; Chairman, House Committee on Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring, Rep. Legor Idagbo and 7 others.

Amongst other things, the Bill seeks to expand the scope of local content in the extant NOGICD Act, thereby putting the Nigerian economy in the hands of Nigerians, creating jobs and enhancing the value of indigenous businesses in the post Covid-19 era.

Spokesman of the House, Rep. Benjamin Kalu, while analysing the general principles of the Bill in a statement on Monday, said, the idea of local content Bill or policy was to encourage local participation, ownership and control of certain key sectors by indigenous businesses.

“This is vital to preserving Nigeria’s socioeconomic independence and enhancing the ability of indigenous businesses to exploit local opportunities, while staying globally competitive”, Kalu said.

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Stressing further, the Spokesman said, “so far, the key local content legislation in Nigeria is the 10-year old Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act 2010 (NOGICDA), which established the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) but is limited to the oil sector.

“Also notable, are the President’s efforts to extend local content compliance to the public procurement practices of federal parastatals vide his Executive Orders 003 and 005.

“However, as we celebrate the Africa Day (May 25), a day commemorating Africa’s independence, liberation and socioeconomic freedom from foreign dominion and exploitation, and in the light of the current COVID-19 induced global economic position which has forced countries to look inwards for economic growth and sustainability, it has become imperative to extend local content policy beyond the Petroleum Industry to other critical sectors like, ICT, Manufacturing, Agriculture, Power, Solid Minerals, Construction, Health, etc, through comprehensive legislation”.

THE SOCIO-ECONOMIC BENEFITS OF THE BILL IN NIGERIA’S POST COVID-19 ERA:

  1. The Bill, when passed and assented to, will promote local manufacturing and economic diversification with focus on ICT, Agriculture, Solid Minerals, Hydrocarbon Refining and Power.

It provides for incentives to encourage local processing of hydrocarbon resources, export of processed minerals and agricultural commodities, local manufacturing of equipment, machinery, spares, chemicals, ICT hardwares, development of softwares and others.

The Local Content Bill also provides for standardisation of locally made goods and locally sourced raw materials to make them competitive in the international market.

  1. The Bill makes it mandatory for Nigerian made goods and services in all public procurements; Nigerian content philosophy as a key requirement in all public sector procurements; provides for creation of local content departments in MDAs and provides requirement for Nigerian Content Plan (NCP) on major projects (above N100m) outlining minimum Nigerian Content thresholds for materials, labour and services required on the project.
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It also strengthens Nigerian content requirements in solicitation of bids and requires Nigerian content compliance certificate as a pre-condition for contract awards; while recommending the creation of Nigerian Content Committee (NCC), to develop economy-wide local content policy.

  1. Creation of a robust R&D ecosystem to drive home grown technology development; promoting collaborations between Research institutions, product developers and end users of Research; as well as provision to incentives funding of research by public and private sector entities, is another green side of the Bill that would help develop the Nigerian system.
  2. In job creation drive to address unemployment, the Bill seeks to give first consideration to Nigerians with requisite skills in all public funded projects.

The Bill also provides for creation of national database of available skills amongst the Nigerian locals and requirements for approval and utilisation of expatriates will only role where there is immediate skills shortage.

  1. Local Content Enforcement Bill will address capacity building to develop resilient local supply chain; Provision for targeted sector-specific capacity building programmes and requirement to close capacity gaps in education, infrastructure, facilities and vendor development on the back of projects.
  2. Sustainable funding for local content is another clause in the Bill that will help promote and grow the Nigerian economy in Post COVID-19 era.

To achieve this, the Bill provides for creation of a Nigerian Content Trust Fund (NCTF), dedicated to implementing projects and programmes connected to developing local content. Application of the Fund to develop SMEs through low interest project-based financing schemes is also provided for in the Bill.

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  1. The enactment of the Nigerian Local Content Development and Enforcement Bill will strengthen executive-legislature synergy and oversight on local content administration in key sectors of the economy.

It will also provide necessary legislative backbone for implementation of key initiatives that will evolve from the Presidential Economic Sustainability Committee as well as other policy actions by the Executive aimed at repositioning the Nigerian economy in the post COVID-19 era.

As the House of Representatives resumes plenary on Tuesday, 2nd June, 2020, it is instructive to consider further legislative actions for the speedy passage of the all-important Nigerian Local Content Development and Enforcement Bill 2020.

The Nigerian Senate should also, as a matter of urgent national importance, consider the concurrence of the Bill when passed by the lower chamber, for the immediate assent of President Muhammad Buhari, for the good of our economy and the citizenry.

Education

Nigeria-born, Dr Kennedy Obohwemu Wins GBS Most Inspirational Lecturer Award In UK

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A Nigeria-born UK Lecturer, Dr. Kennedy O. Obohwemu, has won the prestigious Most Inspirational Lecturer Award at the Global Banking School (GBS) Regional Awards in Birmingham, UK.
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From Joseph Amedu, Lokoja

A Nigeria-born UK Lecturer, Dr. Kennedy O. Obohwemu, has won the prestigious Most Inspirational Lecturer Award at the Global Banking School (GBS) Regional Awards in Birmingham, UK.


GBS is a multi-award-winning higher education provider, operates several campuses across the UK and collaborates with multiple UK universities to offer vocational, undergraduate, and postgraduate programs.





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In a dazzling award ceremony held in Birmingham on June 26, Dr. Obohwemu, a multiple award-winning international author, triumphed over a competitive field of nominees from numerous academic institutions within the region.

The award ceremony celebrated the outstanding contributions of lecturers who inspire and impact students across these diverse institutions.

This prestigious accolade recognizes exceptional teaching talent across university campuses in all regions of the West Midlands

The nominations came from all partnerships of GBS, including esteemed institutions such as Oxford Brookes University (OBU), Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU), Suffolk University, Leeds Trinity University (LTU), Bath Spa University (BSU), and Pearson, among others.

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Remarkably, Dr. Obohwemu, a Lecturer in Health and Social Care, joined GBS barely six months ago, making this win even more noteworthy.

His achievement demonstrates his passion and commitment to delivering high-quality teaching and inspiring others along the way.

It also highlights the profound impact he has made in a short time, earning the admiration and love of his students for his engaging teaching style and warm personality.

Dr. Obohwemu’s recognition as the Most Inspirational Lecturer underscores his dedication to educational excellence and his profound influence on the academic and personal development of his students.

His achievement highlights the remarkable quality of teaching at GBS and its partner universities, setting a benchmark for educational inspiration and leadership in the region.

In his remarks, Prof. Ray Lloyd, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GBS, said the award was not just the celebration of remarkable achievements of the educators, but also the profound impact they have on students and the broader academic community.

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“Our award winners have shown extraordinary dedication, passion, and innovative teaching methods.

“Dr. Obohwemu, winner of the Most Inspirational Lecturer Award, has already made an indelible mark on our institution.

“His ability to connect with students and inspire them to reach their full potential is truly exceptional.

“We are incredibly proud to have him as part of the GBS family and look forward to seeing his continued positive influence on our academic community,” Lloyd said.

Reacting to the award, Obohwemu, said he was deeply honored and humbled to receive the Most Inspirational Lecturer Award.

Dr Obohwemu, who is also the Founder/CEO of PENKUP International, said the recognition was a testament to the incredible support he received from colleagues and the unwavering enthusiasm of his students.

He added: “Joining GBS just six months ago, I have been inspired by the commitment to excellence and the vibrant learning environment here.

“This award reinforces my belief in the transformative power of education and motivates me to continue striving for excellence in teaching.

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“I dedicate this award to all my students whose curiosity and passion for learning drive me every day”.


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Abdulrahman Obaje

Abdulrahman Obaje
Prince Abdulrahman Obaje is a Media, Information and Computer Technology Consultant. A quintessential Journalist, online marketer, social media strategist, Mathematician and Computer Scientist is based in Abuja, Nigeria. He is the Founder and the Publisher of The Informavores!. You can reach me on +234 805 939 5252 or send i-witness report directly to me on news@informavores.com.ng.
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Budget Implementation: CSO Makes Recommendations for Kogi OGP Impact

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Initiative for Grassroot Advancement in Nigeria (INGRA)
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From Joseph Amedu, Lokoja

Mr. Hamza Aliu Ibrahim, Executive Director of Initiative for Grassroot Advancement in Nigeria (INGRA) has advocated for capacity building within relevant government agencies to enhance their ability to effectively plan, implement, and monitor activities as contain in the Kogi State Open Government Partnership (OGP) action plan.








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The Executive Director noted that the Open Government Partnership as a global initiative is aimed at ensuring accountability, transparency, fight against corruption, inclusiveness and empowerment of citizens

Hamza Ibrahim while speaking at a One-day Dissemination Meeting of The Kogi State 2024 Budget Analysis To The Open Government Partnership (OGP) in Lokoja on Thursday, also affirmed that OGP’s role in ensuring effective implementation of Kogi budget cannot be overemphasized.

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He recommended for training programmes on the concept of OGP and its importance to usher-in people-oriented governance in Kogi State.

According to him “The Steering Committee on OGP should be fully committed to ensuring follow up with the thematic Technical Working Groups towards achieving specific commitments as contained in the Kogi OGP action plan such as advocating for resource releases for relevant MDAs to achieve set out commitments

“We also recommend a continued and expanded advocacy engagement with relevant authorities and stakeholders, emphasizing the importance of 100% OGP commitment implementation and the need to collaborate more with civil society organisations, private sector, women’s groups, and other stakeholders to communicate and amplify the impact of OGP activities in the state

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“In all, the Kogi State 2024 Approved Revised Budget indicates a positive step towards increased transparency and citizen participation. However, continued efforts towards implementing these initiatives through fund releases and ensuring public access to information will be crucial for Kogi State to fully realize the benefits of OGP membership” the Executive Director maintained.

Participants for the One-day Dissemination Meeting were drawn from government, civil society organisations, religious bodies, private sector and the Media.


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Abdulrahman Obaje

Abdulrahman Obaje
Prince Abdulrahman Obaje is a Media, Information and Computer Technology Consultant. A quintessential Journalist, online marketer, social media strategist, Mathematician and Computer Scientist is based in Abuja, Nigeria. He is the Founder and the Publisher of The Informavores!. You can reach me on +234 805 939 5252 or send i-witness report directly to me on news@informavores.com.ng.
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Groups task Kogi Govt. to increase resources for OGP commitments

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Kogi State Governor Alhaji Usman Ododo
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From Joseph Amedu, Lokoja

The Initiative for Grassroot Advancement, (INGRA) Nigeria and the Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room has called on the Kogi State Government to allocate more resources on the commitments for Open Government Partnership, (OGP).








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The groups made the call at a one day dissemination meeting of the Kogi State 2024 budget analysis to the Open Government Partnership, (OGP) organized by the Initiative for Grassroot Advancement in Nigeria, (INGRA) in partnership with Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room in Lokoja.

The Executive Director of INGRA Hamza Aliyu decried the poor resources allocated for the commitments of OGP in Kogi State stressing that, there is need for improvement which is in line with the initiative of OGP aimed at
promoting transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to strengthen governance.

Explaining reasons why the Kogi State Government should allocate more resources for OGP commitments, Aliyu said ” The main objective of this one day activities is to analyze the 2024 Kogi State revised budget and extract the component that has to do with OGP.

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“We feel that we need to extract that aspect of it to bring out this commitments and see if this commitments aligns with that of the OGP and see how much of that money was budgeted for and how we can be able to track them subsequently using the Kogi State House of Assembly in knowing the expenditures in this commitments areas.

“The OGP has four thematic areas which are fiscal transparency, access to Information, service delivery and extractive Sector Transparency. The five commitments under this thematic areas are enhance citizens participation in the State budget cycle, strengthen public procurement processes in Kogi State, Improve Citizens Access to Government Held Information and Records.

“Other commitments are: Improve Service Delivery in Kogi State through the introduction of service compact and Work together with relevant stakeholders towards enhancing healthy well-being of mining host communities.

“Now, we are looking at the quantum of resources that was allocated to the OGP commitments and we observed that it is a little bit small in terms of size. But of course, this is the first time the State is doing this so we can appreciate the State Government but we are saying we need to improve the amount of resources we are putting.

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“Again looking at the comparison between the amount of money that was spent on OGP which has to do with Citizens and their engagement, we are also comparing it with the amount of money that has been spent by the state as a whole and we are saying it is really small again.

“Going forward, we need to increase this percentage between the resources given to commitment and OGP which is what Citizens are expecting and then the expenditure Government itself in other areas of recurrent and over head expenses. We are saying they need to increase this resources going forward.

“One commitment that stands out is that of extractive industry transparency. There is a commitment that they need to work with communities in the extractive industry which is the coal mine, Obajana community to be able to discuss issues around environment pollution and how it affects the Citizens and the amount allocated to Ministries, Department and Agencies, (MDA’s) by the Government. So we are very happy about that one.


Author Profile

Abdulrahman Obaje

Abdulrahman Obaje
Prince Abdulrahman Obaje is a Media, Information and Computer Technology Consultant. A quintessential Journalist, online marketer, social media strategist, Mathematician and Computer Scientist is based in Abuja, Nigeria. He is the Founder and the Publisher of The Informavores!. You can reach me on +234 805 939 5252 or send i-witness report directly to me on news@informavores.com.ng.
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