By Cynthia Alo
The Federal Government is repositioning Nigeria’s economic development to be technology driven for global competitiveness through the Presidential Executive Order No.5.
The Executive Order is one of the series of such economy focused orders rolled out by the present administration, and this particular order is for planning and execution of projects, and promotion of Nigerian content in contracts, science, engineering and technology.
Disclosing this yesterday at a press briefing in Lagos, the minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, said the Executive Order No. 5 is the instrument which President Mohammadu Buhari administration has deployed to redirect the economy from being resource-based to a new, sustainable and inclusive path, as well as being a knowledge and innovation driven economy.
He stated: “The Buhari Administration expects that in the next 10-20 years, Nigerian companies and firms will be competing with the very best in other parts of the world for projects and contracts in international tenders.”
Onu said the Federal Government will henceforth place premium on the use of indigenous professionals and firms in the design and execution of projects involving national security.
He stated: “Foreign experts will only be engaged on condition that such expertise is not available in Nigeria. Even when they are engaged, Nigerian professionals would be attached to understudy them.”
The Executive order is in 18 sections in various headings including Preferences; Accreditation; Contract Award; Language of Contract; Capacity Development; Disqualification from Contract Award; Database of Experts in Nigeria; Expatriate Quota; Local Material; Tax Incentives among others.
Onu said the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology will establish Centers for acquisition of technology in the six geopolitical zones of the country .
He pointed that this would also promote technology utilization, reduce poverty and make Nigeria to be self reliant in producing and utilizing goods produced locally.