By Zika Bobby
Director of procurement at the Federal Ministry of Health, Dr Samson Opaluwah, has said that a well thought out local content policy would bridge the infrastructural deficit currently being experienced in Nigeria.
Speaking at the just concluded Nigeria’s Construction Industry Hall of Fame 2017 in Lagos, Opaluwah, a Fellow of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), said local content is a global science, which involves the commitment of specialised engineering industry to leverage on the capacity and capability of indigenous people and businesses in order to support a long-term development of the nation’s infrastructural efficiency.
He suggested that the template of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act Number 2 of 2010 which jurisdiction covers the industry needs to be adopted for all sectors of the economy pending enactment of a law on Nigeria Content Development to govern the economy.
In his paper: ‘Local content and Economy- building capacity for growth: A strategic approach’ he noted that it was now imperative to jump-start the nation’s national development which according to him was subjected to several false starts in the past.
He explained that the state of the national infrastructure is directly related to the non-committal posture of the foreign contractors whose primary motive for participating in the economy is purely for profit.
Opaluwah whose public service career took him round five Federal ministries as procurement expert said that the long term or life circle of the projects handled by foreign contractors is not their primary concern.
“For a sustainable development agenda, there is no alternative to a dependence on in-country expertise for obvious reason. We need to empower, equip and support Nigerians to take full charge of the levers of national development.
“Nigeria has witnessed, in the last 50 years, a high volume of capital flight from its petro-dollar earnings due to the inability to put in place and sustain a viable policy of maximizing the value for money derived from developmental expenditure in the public and private sectors of the economy. This has highly retarded economic growth by stunting the desired in-country capacity to service the nation’s developmental needs,” he said.