Stakeholders Brainstorm On Upscaling Local Content Development For Economic Growth

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Participants Content
A cross section of participants during the meeting in Abuja.

Stakeholders from different industries have converged to brainstorm on ways to harness the abundant opportunities in the exploitation and exploration of local content development to boost the national economic growth of the country.

This was the crux of deliberations at the fifth Valuechain Annual Lecture and Awards themed “The Impact of Nigerian Content Law: Taking a Cue from the Successes in the Oil and Gas Industry,” held in Abuja.

In his remarks, the event chairperson, Sen. Margery Okadigbo commended Valuechain for consistently educating the public through its brand of solution-oriented journalism by projecting the image of the country in good light.

She noted that the local content law in Nigeria is a success story and an indication that the government has the intention of developing the country’s economy. 

Represented by Prof. Omowumi Iledare, a professor of petroleum economics and policy research, Okadigbo asserted that growing revenue is not the same as growing the economy and that local content is not about making people millionaires; rather, adding significant value to the economy. 

“Nigeria is contributing less than 10 per cent 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 per cent contribution to GDP from the petroleum industry,” he added.

Speaking earlier as a panellist at the event, the director-general, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Mallam Kashifu Abdullahi urged Nigerians to be advocates of local content.

Represented by the national coordinator of the agency’s Office for Nigerian Digital Innovation, Engr. Yakubu Musa, Abdullahi reasoned that it was in the nation’s best interest to look inwards in Nigeria to develop locally made goods and services. 

While commending the initiative of the programme, Abdullahi said: “It is important to translate the successes recorded by the oil and gas sector into other sectors while focusing on their different peculiarities.” 

In his remarks, the 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, Barr. Naboth gave an overview of the agency’s activities, listing its very many achievements in the oil and gas industry over the years and urged all other industries to take a cue from it, adapt their strategies and replicate them in their various industries for a collective contribution to the growth of the nation’s economy.

The former executive secretary of the Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF) commended Valuechain for the solutions journalism that it engages in, adding that it will attract foreign investments to 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”. 

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