President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered chieftains in federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to prioritize the engagement of Nigerian professionals for planning, design and execution of national projects, stressing that foreign professionals should only be engaged where there is no local expertise.
Buhari gave the directive Thursday at the inauguration of the Presidential Monitoring and Evaluation Council of the Executive Order 5 at the State House, Abuja.
A statement by his Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, quoted the President, , who is the chairman of the Presidential Monitoring Evaluation Council (PMEC), as saying that 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.
Buhari expatiated: “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”, the President added
He explained that the Executive Order No 5 was aimed at placing Nigerian professionals and manufacturers at the centre of the Nigerian economy, stressing that the Order will be used by the administration to midwife a new beginning that would transform Nigeria’s economy from resource-based to a knowledge-based and innovation-driven.
According to him, all suppliers and contractors under national competitive bidding process shall disclose local material (processed or unprocessed), where available and needed for the execution of projects while designs for all contracts, programmes, projects, etc., shall be in English language before signing.
On expatriate quota for projects, Buhari ordered “the Ministry of Interior shall ensure that Expatriate Quota for projects, contracts, and programmes 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.’’
According to him, the PMEC team will 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).
The President 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.
He further clarified: “I direct the Federal Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation to work with the office of the Honourable 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”, Buhari added.
Earlier, during the inaugurating the PMEC for the implementation of the Presidential Executive Order 5 for Planning and Execution of Nigerian Content in Contracts, Science, Engineering and Technology, the President explained that the initiative would improve and expand indigenous capacity in project execution
Speaking at the forum, Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, described the inauguration of the PMEC as timely, adding that implementation of its mandate will harness the human and natural resources of the country, reduce job seekers’ migration and gradually put an end to the current renting regime and its attendant inefficiencies in the nation’s capital projects execution.