In order to promote the current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR’s agenda of diversifying the nation’s economy, experts from various industries have converged to harness the abundant opportunities in the exploitation and exploration of local content development to boost the country’s national economic growth.
This was discussed at the 5th Valuechain Annual Lecture and Awards, which was held at the Fraser Suites, Central Business District, Abuja, and was themed “The Impact of Nigerian Content Law: Taking a Cue from the Successes in the Oil and Gas Industry,” where industry leaders shared their experiences and ideas on promoting local content development in the country.
Senator Margery Chuba Okadigbo, who was represented by Professor Omowumi Iledare, a professor of Petroleum Economics and Policy Research, praised Valuechain for consistently educating the public through solutions journalism and projecting a positive image of the country.
He noted that Nigeria’s Local Content Law is a success story and an indication that the government is taking positive steps to develop the country’s economy.
He claimed that increasing revenue is not the same as increasing the economy and that local content is not about making people millionaires but rather about adding significant value to the 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 panellist at the event, the Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa CCIE urged Nigerians to be advocates of local content.
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 said, “It is important to translate the successes recorded by the oil and gas sector into other sectors while focusing on their different peculiarities”.
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, while making his remark, gave an overview of the agency’s activities, and the unprecedented milestones achieved by the oil and gas industry over the years and 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 the solutions journalism which they engage, 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”.
Other notable individuals 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 and many others.
At the end of the event, the former Secretary General of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), late Dr. Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo was presented with a posthumous Lifetime Achievement Award among other individuals who were presented with awards for their outstanding performances in the energy sector.