‘FG saved $380b capital flight from Local Content Act’

Simbi Kesiye Wabote. PHOTO:SweetCrudeRepors

The Executive Secretary, Local Content Development Agency, Mr. Kesiye Wabote, has said that about $380 billion capital flight was saved by the Federal Government from the beginning of the Local Content Act in 2010.

Wabote disclosed this yesterday during the public hearing organised by the Senate Committee on Petroleum (Upstream) and Gas titled, “Implementation of Local Content and compliance with Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act by industry operators and investigation into the utilisation of the Nigerian Content Development Fund.”

The scribe, who also represented Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, said before the Act was enacted, fabrication of equipment for the oil and gas industry was done abroad leading to millions of job losses.

Wabote further pointed out that about $15 billion had been ploughed back into the Nigerian economy while about 56 per cent of fabrication works are now being done in the country. He said Nigeria now handles 60,000 tonnes of fabrication works in the sector, while pipes, which used to be imported into the country and coated by foreign companies, are today being coated in Nigeria.

The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, who declared the public hearing open, represented by the Senate Leader, Ahmed Lawan, said that through a motion brought before the Upper Chamber, senators had expressed concern that the Local Content Act was not effectively implemented.

Saraki said the Act seeks to provide local values to oil industry, adding that it should not be misconstrued as an indigenisation policy to sack the expatriate oil workers.

In the same vein, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Petroleum (Upstream), Taye Alasoadura, said the public hearing was an opportunity for crucial stakeholders to make submissions that would help in making recommendations to the Senate for amendment of the Act and effective implementation of the Local content Act.



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