Senate set to legislate on Nigeria’s economic diversification framework
The Nigerian Senate is set to begin work on a legislative framework that will allow the federal government to pursue economic diversification policies.
This will be possible if the Nigerian Economic Diversification Bill 2022, which is currently being debated in the National Assembly, is passed into law.
As part of the legislative process, a public hearing has been scheduled for Monday, December 19th, 2022, at which all relevant stakeholders are expected to participate.
The hearing is organised by the Committee on National Planning, chaired by Senator Olubunmi Adetunmbi.
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 programmes, 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, the maritime industry and the credit guarantee scheme.
The piece of legislation makes it mandatory for Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government to submit the 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 (representing Niger North Senatorial District), said it provides for the “establishment and maintenance of programmes for the overall development of the Nigerian economy, [and] 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 bill is “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.
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