Speaking on Wednesday in Abuja at the Power Sector Local Content Policy Framework Development Workshop, the Minister of Power, Prof Chinedu Nebo promised to ensure that ongoing transformation in the sector and massive investments by governments and private sector entities are steered to develop the local supply chain and encourage manufacturing.
He commended the Ministry of Petroleum Resources led by Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke and the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) for the achievements recorded with the implementation of the Nigerian Content Act in the past four years, noting that managers of the power sector were desirous of replicating similar successes for the benefit of the economy.
Nebo who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Ambassador Godknows Igali stated that the power sector would be looking to adapt the policies and guidelines put in place by NCDMB in the oil and gas sector, adding, “We do not need to reinvent the wheel in the power sector.”
Restating the need to build on existing structures, the Permanent Secretary canvassed for the expansion of NCDMB’s mandate to enable it regulate Nigerian Content in the power sector.
According to him, “we need to build strong institutions that can enforce regulations across sectors and drive the development of technology. That is what obtains in other climes. We do not need multiplicity of institutions; rather we need to expand the laws setting up the Board to make it cover the power sector.”
Igali harped on the need to incubate technology in the power sector, regretting that almost all the key components of the industry are currently imported, much to the loss the of the economy.
He identified the manufacturing of meters and fabrication of 132KV lines as some of the services Nigerians can easily provide in the power sector, adding, “We have to buy meters from local manufacturers to encourage them to improve, we have to encourage local capacity.”
Earlier in his presentation, the Executive Secretary, NCDMB, Engr. Ernest Nwapa lauded the Minister of Power for identifying with Nigerian Content, adding that the ministry’s adoption of the policies was an affirmation of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s firm belief in the contribution of local content to the growth of the national economy.
He also remarked that the Board’s recently launched a linkage programme with key agencies of government aimed to harness the resources of individual agencies towards developing local content and support Federal Government’s drive for employment generation, in-country value addition and overall economic transformation.
The Executive Secretary, NCDMB, who was represented by the Head, Policy Development and Strategy Division, NCDMB, Mr. Abdulmalik Halilu explained that the adoption of Nigerian Content by the Ministry of Power would yield many benefits and drive positive changes in the sector.
He advised the Ministry to focus on areas that will produce early results and acceptance, thereby help to counter resistance that will come from global and local stakeholders who benefit from the status quo.
He added, “the promotion of local content requires a special funding pool to develop local capacity, skills acquisition, infrastructure development, facilities upgrade.
You need to focus on in-country value creation and not indigenization,” he added.
Offering more counsel that will ensure the success of the power sector Nigerian Content drive, Halilu stated that the policy must be a national agenda and championed from the top as part of overall national development program.