The Nigerian Senate is set to commence a legislative framework that would enable the federal government to pursue its diversification policies to improve the economy.
This will be made possible if Nigerian Economic Diversification Bill 2022 presently before the National Assembly is passed into law.
As part of the legislative process, a public hearing has been slated for Monday, 19th December 2022 where all the relevant stakeholders were expected to make their contributions.
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.