The Federal Government on Tuesday declared that contracts not above N5bn would no longer be awarded to any foreign firms in the country.
It said the decision was part of a way of patronising the indigenous firms in line with the planned local content laws in the country.
The Minister of State, Works and Housing, Abubakar Aliyu, stated this at a public hearing organised by the National Assembly joint committees on local content.
He said contracts worth N5bn and below, would be exclusively preserved for indigenous firms.
He said, “As part of measures being put in place for strengthening of local content laws in the country, contracts that are not more than N5bn are to be exclusive preserve of indigenous firms or companies for bidding, award and execution.”
When asked by the Chairman of the Committee, Senator Teslim Folarin, on whether the new policy would affect construction firms like Julius Berger, the Minister said proper categorisation would be done to determine that.
He said, “Julius Berger PLC is more or less an indigenalised foreign firm going by high involvement of Nigerians in its operations and management over the years which makes its categorisation in this respect a bit difficult.”
He added that other measures like registration of expatriates and proof of valid residence permit, among others, were also part of recommendations being made into the local content development bill.
Folarin said the three bills being considered were very important and sacrosanct to the development of the country’s oil and gas industry, which is one of the most viable sectors of the economy.
He explained that the bills, among other things, sought to consolidate on the gains of the implementation of local content component in the oil and gas industry, pursuant to the enactment of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act, 2010.