By Sylvanus Tyoakaa
The senate is set to provide the much needed legislative framework to enable th!e federal government pursue its diversification policies to improve on the Nigerian economy. The upper chamber, accordingly, seeks to achieve same with the passage of the Nigerian Economic Diversification Bill 2022 presently before the National Assembly.
A public hearing on the bill sponsored by the Deputy Whip, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi (APC, Niger North) is slated for Monday, December 19th, 2022.
The hearing is organised by the Senator Olubunmi Adetunmbi-led Committee on National Planning.
The bill, which was read for the first time on December 8, 2021, seeks to establish the Nigerian Economic Diversification Council, as well as provide for the Nigerian Resource Development Plan.
It also provides for the transfer of technology for Nigerian capacity development and succession plan, establishment and management of startup development programme, issuance of work permits and expatriate quotas, and formalization and development of artisanal and small scale miners of solid minerals.
The bill in its provisions, specifically focuses on the promotion of Nigerian Content Development in automobile manufacturing, maritime industry and credit guarantee scheme.
The piece of legislation makes it mandatory for Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government to submit Annual Nigerian Content and Economic Diversification Development Report and Annual Budget.
Other sectors of the economy duly covered in the bill are Information and Communications Technology, Health, Agriculture and Agro Allied, Power etc.
Speaking on the bill, its sponsor, Senator Sabi Abdullahi, said same provides for the “establishment and maintenance of programmes for the overall development of the Nigerian economy, more especially, to encourage the growth of Nigerian industries, services, technologies in order to diversify the Nigerian economy and raise the standard of living of persons living in Nigeria to a reasonable level.”
He added that the scope of the Bill “are to be applicable to all ministries, arms and agencies of the Federal Government of Nigeria and private businesses.”
“However, local content development in the oil and gas sector is excluded from the application of this Bill”, he noted.