By Tordue Salem
ABUJAâ€”ACTING President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan is set to sign into law a Bill on the Nigerian ContentÂ in the Oil and Gas sector.
The law would establish a local content commission to be predominantly staffed by citizens from the Niger Delta region.
The law draws out a Nigerian content plan for supervision, coordination, monitoring and implementation of Nigerian content and for matters incidental to it.
The House of Representatives sub-committee Chairman on Local Content, Tamarautare Brisibe, PDP/Burutu/Delta, told newsmen in Abuja that the law would help in addressing militancy, youth restiveness and kidnapping in the area.
Brisibe who said the law would lead to the employment of many jobless citizens of the zone, noted that the Acting President would â€œwrite his name in gold,â€ if he gave his assent to the bill, as the piece of legislation would hasten development of the oil and gas industry.
He said: â€œThe law provides that all international oil companies, IOC, operating in the Niger Delta shall necessarily establish offices in their host communities, which must employ a particular percentage of indigenous youth thereby ending idleness.â€
Noting that the law has protected the interest of Nigerians, he stressed: â€œwhere applicable before carrying out any work or activity in Nigeria, the operator who submits a plan shall establish in the projectâ€™s catchment area, a project office where management and procurement decision making process are to take place, to the satisfaction of the Board.â€
Opportunities in oil producing areas
He added that â€œwhere Nigerians are not employed because of their lack of training, the operator shall ensure, to the satisfaction of the Board that every reasonable effort was made within a reasonable time to supply such training locally or elsewhere.â€
Brisibe said the law also had the potentials of engendering employment opportunities in the oil producing communities and Nigeria as a whole, adding that section 31 (1) of the proposed law posits that â€œfor each of its operations, the operator shall submit to the Board a succession plan for any position not held by Nigerians.
Such succession plans shall provide for Nigerians to understudy each incumbent expatriate for a maximum period of four years. At the end of the four year period the position shall become Nigerianized. All Nigerianized positions shall attract salaries, wages and benefits as provided for in the operatorâ€™s conditions of service for Nigerian employees.â€