By Edith Ike-Eboh
The Nigeria Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCMDB) has urged the ninth Assembly to continue with effort to extend the Nigerian Content Act to other critical sectors of the economy.
The Executive Secretary of the Board, Dr Simbi Wabote, disclosed this at the NCMDB third quarter Media engagement in Abuja, on Monday.
Wabote said that the move would ensure economic growth and development, adding that there was no need for the country to have multiple regulatory agencies on local content for various sectors of the economy.
“We have continued our advocacy for the extension of the Nigerian Content Act to other critical sectors of the economy like Power, Construction and Information Communication Technology (ICT).
“We plan to collaborate closely with the ninth Assembly to continue the process for amendment which was initiated by the eight Assembly.
“We strongly believe that there is no need to create multiple regulators of Local Content in Nigeria.
“The Board can modify its templates to suit other sectors. In our view, this is the prudent way to expand and entrench local Content regime in Nigeria,’’ he said.
He said that the need for the extension could not be overemphasised especially with the ripple effect to job creation.
He said that the oil and gas sector was not the best in job creation because of high level of use of technology compared to construction and ICT, among others.
“Take for instance, the employment statistics of Shell and some companies put together may be around 3,500 but take Julius Berger, if you look at the payroll, you will see that they may have over 50,000 people.
` `Then when you talk of ICT sector, a lot of software’s are not domiciled here in Nigeria, we have huge potentials in these areas that needs to be properly managed,’’ he said.
Commenting on the 160 million dollars content development Fund domiciled with the Bank of Industry (BoI), he said 140 million dollars had been disbursed.
He added that the agency and BoI had scheduled to meet to discuss various issues concerning the fund.
“We also deployed chartered accounting firms to carry out forensic audit of Nigerian Content Development Fund (NCDF) remittances.
“The Forensic Audit started in November 2018 and has revealed huge amounts of non-remittances from operating and service companies.
“At the moment, some companies have owned up to their indebtedness and have started addressing their infractions.
“On the other hand, a few companies have remained recalcitrant.
“We have concluded plans to hand over such companies to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for prosecution,’’ he said.