NASS will not allow marginalisation of indigenous companies-Sen. Adeola
The Chairman Senate Committee on Local Content, Sen. Solomon Adeola, says the National Assembly will not allow indigenous companies to fold up as a result of marginalisation.
Adeola made this known to newsmen after the members of the committee inspected an indigenous pipe coating company in Port Harcourt on Tuesday.
The lawmaker, who lamented reports of marginalisation of indigenous companies, particularly in the oil and gas industry, said local content initiative was introduced to curb such.
He said if the ugly trend, which International Oil Companies(IOCs) were often accused of, was not tackled, it would have adverse effect on the economy.
“The local content initiative is a growing phenomenon in developing nations that have suffered the effect of importation of investments, labour and technology in the critical sectors of the economy.
“The initiative aims at encouraging domestic investment, promote the empowerment and employment of indigenes and facilitate technology transfer, in order to expand the economy.
“The need for the greater inclusion of the legislature in the initiative is believed to further enhance the attainment of the idea and this led to the inauguration of the Senate’s Committee on Local Content in November of 2017 by the President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki.
“The committee was inaugurated with the mandate to ensure the transfer of technology in the oil and gas industry, ensure the use of local manpower by companies cited in Nigeria.
“It was also inaugurated to develop policies and make laws that would ensure the patronage of local manufacturing industry by Nigerians and carry out oversight function of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board as well as other operators in the industry.
“The Senate Committee seeks to significantly add value to the local content initiative.
“It also seeks to increase impact and enforcement of the Local Content Act as well as work with the Nigeria Content Development Management Board.
“This is to promote domestication and domiciliation of oil and gas activities among the leading industry operators,” he said.
Adeola said pursuant to resolve by the parliament to support indigenous companies to boost the economy, it had commenced amendment of the local content law, to expand its scope for maximum result.
He added that “it is in the interest of furthering the achievements made by the local content initiative that the committee has resolved to pursue its three cardinal focus of law and policy development, institutional strengthening and oversight.
“The committee’s oversight function is targeted at providing Legislative monitoring towards ensuring high level of compliance with the local content initiatives.
“In this regard, the committee has been able to come to the aid of indigenous operators who felt shortchanged or marginalised by the International Oil Companies(IOCs).”
Also speaking to newsmen, Board Chairman of Solewant Group, Prof. Sylvanus Ebohon, thanked Adeola and members of the committee for assuring them of protection from marginalisation.
He said unless major stakeholders come together to protect local companies, particularly in the oil and gas industry, they would be forced extinction.
He said the effect of such would be better imagined, adding that the unemployment rate would increase among other consequences.
“I want to thank the lawmakers for considering our company worthy for this facility tour, signalling possible acceptance by the committee.
“We have been facing the usual blackmail typical of multi national diplomacy in contemporary business competition.
“Our company is one of the two function all companies out of the four coating companies in Nigeria.
“We have put together four specialised activities including pipeline coating services, laboratory testing services.
“I am aware that the indigenisation policy has not made any meaningful impact on what local content dream is supposed to constitute for developing country like ours.
“Since 1992, Nigeria has only four coating companies and only two are functioning. It is sad,” he said.
The chairman urged the national assembly to protect it and other indigenous companies, adding that they were Nigerian projects.