25 March 2014, Abuja – Real local content in Nigeria industries is alarmingly low at about 18 percent, Executive Secretary, Nigeria Content Development Board (NCDMB), Mr. Ernest Nwapa, has disclosed.
He lamented that Nigeria has focused on revenue derived from oil and gas and has neglected the human development needed to grow the economy.
Nwapa stated this in Abuja at the 2014 Nigeria Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition.
He said: “Our partial Nigeria content is at 70 to 87 percent, while our real content, which is based on proportion of contract sums spent on Nigerian made products, is from 12 to 18 percent. This is considerably very low, and it is a major factor to lack of investment opportunities, underdevelopment and unemployment.
“We have decided to neglect human capacity development, which is essential to the development of the sector, and we have focused on revenue derived. Presently, we still seek foreign partners in re-building our refineries,” he said.
He said that the major challenge of the industry was non-development of its manufacturing sector.
“The greatest problem we have is that Nigeria procures virtually all it needs from abroad. No matter how we try, if we don’t raise the level of manufacturing, we will not.
He said that the local content was still low in spite of efforts by the Federal Government to ensure that the manufacturing industry in Nigeria improved and competed favourably with industries in the international community. He said that the Nigerian manufacturing industries were currently being run with machines brought in from different parts of the world.
“That is why we are designing product and strategies starting from component and we believe that this is the area we can explore.”
He said that it has become compulsory for foreign and local investors interested in establishing business places in Nigeria to patronise local industries. Nwapa decried the mis-interpretation of the content act by foreign investors, saying that the law was not meant to drive out foreigners but to attract and encourage better collaboration.
“What makes a great oil producing nation is the ability to manufacture all necessary equipment needed, asset ownership and human capital development,” he said.