14th December, 2016
The House of Representatives on Wednesday called for the payment of local vendors in the oil and gas industry in the bid to save the industry.
This followed a motion by Rep. Henry Nwawuba (PDP-Imo), which was unanimously adopted by members through a voice vote.
Moving the motion, Nwabuba explained that Local Content Act was primarily intended to promote local players in the oil and gas industry.
He added that the Act was also to protect them against unfair practices tending to give their foreign counterparts dominance and advantage in the oil and gas sector of the Nigerian economy.
“All transactions and contracts between the Federal Government and the contractors on one hand and the contractors amongst themselves, on the other hand, are regulated by a policy of 60 to 40 percent ratio,” he said.
According to him, the payment is supposed to be “60 per cent payment in dollars and 40 percent in naira.”
He expressed concern that the new policy required 100 per cent payment in naira to local contractors, even when government
and foreign contractors still retained the practice of 60 to 40 payment in dollars in their transactions.
This, he said was due to new policy stipulated exchange rate of N250 to a dollar.
According to him, the local content contractors, in many contracts and transactions still procure and pay for items and services in dollars and now have to source for foreign currency at the parallel market.
“If this policy is not reviewed, it will throw many local contractors out of business, thereby defeating the purpose of the Local Content Act.
The House, therefore, mandated its Committees on Petroleum Resources (Upstream), Petroleum Resources (Downstream), Gas Resources and Local Content to interface with the agencies and stakeholders in the oil and gas industry on the policy.
The committees were mandated by the house to report back within six weeks for further legislative action.