Worried by widespread malpractices including abuse of expatriates quota, the Chairman of the Local Contents Committee in the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Emmanuel Ekon, has said the House was working to address the problem.
The lawmaker representing the Abak\Etim Ekpo\Ika Federal Constituency of Akwa Ibom State, who made the disclosure in a statement in Uyo, the State capital at the weekend, said the House was working to amend the relevant sections of Local Contents Law, “to cover all foreign firms operating in the country”.
Ekon, who was recently honoured with a Seal of Excellence Award (SEA) by the Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN) during the 50th anniversary celebration of the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) held in Texas, United States, said the amendment would expand his Committee’s oversight to also “regulate other foreign firms apart from the International Oil Companies (IOCs)”.
He commended former President Goodluck Jonathan, for signing the Local Contents Bill into law in 2010, noting that the institutionalization of the law helped to engender far-reaching reforms in the oil and gas sectors of the Nigerian economy.
However, the Chairman of PETAN, Mazi Bank Anthony Okoroafor, said noted that the Akwa Ibom lawmaker has effectively regulate the oil and gas sector in the last three years, instilling sanity and ensured sharp practices and abuse of expatriates quota were eliminated.
He charged Ekon and his Committee to work towards amending the Local Content Law in order to cover other non oil foreign establishments operating in Nigeria.
“For the past three years, Nigerians have been given the opportunities to participate and compete favourably with the expatriates in various Oil and gas companies doing business in Nigeria”, he noted.
Besides, he thanked former President Goodluck Jonathan, for ensuring the Local Content Bill was signed into law in 2010, adding that “since then, the regulatory agencies have been able to ensure operators imbibe best practices in the management of the sector”.
For ensuring effective management of the oil and gas resources, the PETAN boss disclosed that jobs meant for Nigerians were no longer given out to the expatriates.
Also, the Federal Government has been able to generate more oil and gas revenues and tamed capital flights, which he noted, used to be the order of the day before the arrival of the Local Contents Law in 2010.
Ekon, it could be recalled, had earlier bagged similar awards in 2016 and2017, for ensuring best practices remain the hallmark in the management of the oil and gas sector in the last three years.
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