Local content: Extend policy beyond petroleum sector, Akpan urges senate in bill amendment

By   Etoro-obong Inyang

The senator representing Akwa Ibom North East senatorial district , Bassey Akpan has urged the Senate to extend the nation’s local content policy beyond the oil and gas industry.

Akpan- chairman, Senate committee on petroleum resources upstream made the called at yesterday’s second reading and debate on a bill sponsored by Senator Telsim Folarin, (Oyo central) , Oyo state, seeking to amend the Nigeria oil and gas industry content development Act 2010, and other matters thereto.

He argued that the country will benefit more in a situation where existing laws in the oil and gas sector were given a holistic review.

He added that the laws when reviewed will empower Nigerians to have greater participation in the industry, as well as enable them to take charge of commanding heights of the economy.

“We may not be where we are supposed to be but we are not where we used to be. We must extend this bill beyond the oil and gas sector and do same for the other sectors of the economy,” the high ranking Senator said.

The Edge News understands that The Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act, which established the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, was enacted in 2010, to create the framework for growth of Nigerian content in respect of all operations and transactions in nation’s oil and gas Sector.

The Act also mandates investors in the sector to consider Nigerian content as an important element in their project development, and that Nigerian operators and indigenous service companies shall be given first consideration in award of oil blocks, licenses and works in the sector.

The bill seeks to amend 38 sections in the extant Act, while introducing six new provisions, in a move meant to bring the provisions of the law at par with current global best practices in the oil and gas industry, especially in the post Covid-19 era.