Buhari Directs MDAs to Prioritise Indigenous Professionals for Planning, Design, Execution of National Projects
By Fausat Bello
President Muhammadu Buhari has directed Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA) to give priority to indigenous professionals for the planning, design and execution of national projects, adding that foreign professionals should be given consideration only when the expertise are not available.
He gave the directive while speaking at the Inauguration of the Presidential Monitoring and Evaluation Council of the Executive Order 5 for Planning and Execution of Nigerian Content in Contracts, Science, Engineering and Technology at the presidential villa, on Thursday in Abuja.
In a statement issued by the Special Adviser to the President (Media & Publicity) Femi Adesina, the president was quoted as saying, “The Federal Government shall introduce Margin of Preference in National Competitive Bidding in contracts, in the evaluation of tenders, from indigenous suppliers of goods manufactured locally over foreign goods.
“All MDAs shall ensure that any professional practicing in Nigeria must be duly registered with the appropriate regulatory body in Nigeria.
“All MDAs shall ensure that for all consultancy contracts awarded to foreign companies, engineering drawings, necessary calculations, design, etc. are made available to their corresponding Nigerian partners, including arrangements with Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) as partners towards local production of needed materials.”
He explained that Executive Order No 5 was aimed at placing Nigerian Professionals and Manufacturers at the centre of the Nigerian Economy and will be used by the government to midwife a new beginning that would transform the economy from resource-based to knowledge-based and innovation-driven.
The statement further said, “The Ministry of Interior shall ensure that Expatriate Quota for projects, contracts, and programs are granted according to the provisions of the Immigration Act and other relevant laws.
“This will apply where qualifications and competence of Nigerian Nationals are not available or cannot be ascertained, which shall be contingent on training such number of persons as may be required for the execution of the contract or project.”
The president, who is also Chairman of the Presidential Monitoring Evaluation Council, said the team would “oversee the general implementation of the Executive Order 5, and the secretariat would be domiciled at the Federal Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, supported by the Strategy Implementation Task Office for Presidential Executive Order 5 (SITOPEO-5).”
He said the secretariat would facilitate the administration, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the provisions of Executive Order No. 5 and provide prompt reports to Council.
“I direct the Federal Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation to work with the office of the Honorable Minister of Justice and the Attorney General of the Federation to facilitate the early passage of the Bill for the Order at the National Assembly in line with the decisions of the Federal Executive Council.
“The Federal Government will do its utmost to ensure that the Executive Order No 5 is fully implemented as we are sure that the full implementation will create wealth, strengthen our economy, reduce poverty and provide employment for our people.”
President Buhari also said the Executive order No 5 would improve and expand indigenous capacity.
The Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Ogbonnaya Onu on the other hand said the inauguration was most timely, assuring that “implementation would harness the human and natural resources of the country, reduce exportation of jobs and remove the current renting pattern, which fuels inefficacy.”