Experts from different industries have converged to harness the abundant opportunities in the exploitation and exploration of local content development to boost the national economic growth of the country, as a way of promoting the agenda of the President Muhammadu Buhari -led administration in diversifying the Nation’s economy.
Captains of industries shared experiences and ideas on aggrandizing local content development in the country at the 5th Valuechain Annual Lecture and Awards, themed, “The Impact of Nigerian Content Law: Taking a Cue from the Successes in the Oil and Gas Industry”, at the Fraser Suites, Abuja.
The Chairman of the occasion, Senator Margery Chuba Okadigbo who was represented by Professor Omowumi Iledare, a professor of Petroleum Economics and Policy Research, commended Valuechain for consistently educating the public through solutions journalism by projecting the image of the country in good light.
While asserting that growing revenue is not the same thing as growing the economy, and that local content is not about making people millionaires but rather, adding value significantly to the economy, Okadigbo noted that the Local Content Law in Nigeria is a success story and an indication that the government has good initiatives towards the development of the country’s economy.
“Nigeria is contributing less than 10% from the oil and gas industry to the nation’s GDP but with a successful local content, we can be assured that Nigeria would experience about 20-30% contribution to GDP from the petroleum industry”, he added.
Speaking earlier as a panelist at the event, the Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa, who was ably represented by the National Coordinator of the Agency’s Office for Nigerian Digital Innovation, Engr. Yakubu Musa stated that it is highly imperative to look inwards in Nigeria to develop locally made goods and services.
While commending the initiative of the programme, Inuwa urged Nigerians to be advocates of local content. “It is important to translate the successes recorded by the oil and gas sector into other sectors while focusing on their different peculiarities”. He said.
In his remark, Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Engr. Simbi Wabote who was represented by the Agency’s Head of Legal Service, Barrister Naboth, gave an overview of the agency’s activities, and the unprecedented milestones achieved by the oil and gas industry over the years.
He urged all other industries to take a cue from it, adopt their strategies and replicate them in their various industries for a collective contribution to the growth of the nation’s economy.
On his part, the former Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer of the Petroleum Equalization Fund (PEF) commended Valuechain for engaging journalists, adding that it will attract foreign investments in the country.
Describing the theme of the event as timely, he said, “as the theme suggests, I think we can diversify by harnessing the potentials in all the sectors to move the country forward”.
A posthumous Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to the former Secretary General of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), late Dr. Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, among other individuals who were presented with awards for their outstanding performances in the energy sector.
Other notable guests at the event were; the former Director General of the Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), Mrs. Omotayo Omotosho MFR, former Executive Director, Corporate Planning and Strategy, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Tim Okon, President, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Engr. Mansur Ahmed, amongst others.