President Muhammadu Buhari says the Federal Government has approved a N2.6 trillion economic sustainability plan aimed at boosting local production, science and innovations for local manufacturers in Nigeria.
Buhari stated while speaking from State House, Abuja during the virtual commissioning of the 17-storey Nigerian Content Tower, headquarters of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) in Yenagoa on Thursday.
Also commissioned is a 10-megawatt gas powered plant at Elebele about eight kilometers away to supply electricity to the headquarters building as well as ongoing Oil and Gas Industrial Park.
He said the executive order which relates to the enforcement of local content and promotion of local purchase of oil and gas equipment is one of two executive orders he has signed.
The President described the completion of the building as a demonstration of the commitment of his administration to ensure the renaissance of the development of critical Infrastructure in the country.
Buhari also expressed the commitment of his administration to encourage local content in order to ensure job creation while commending the NCDMB team and others who contributed to the completion of the project.
His words: “This project during its construction had generated direct jobs to our teeming youths, and with the commissioning today, it brings to the fore our zeal in empowering our citizens and give them opportunity to grow in their business endeavours.
“That is why, two of the executive orders under our government are related to enforcement of local content. We have recently approved N2.6 trillion economy sustainablity plan, the plan is aimed at promoting local production, sciences and innovations.
“The impact of the pandemic has further showed that we have to produce what we eat, and make exports. All these policy directives and programmes are also meant to address some of the causative factors of insecurity and provide employment opportunities for our citizens. It will also help businesses to complete, compete and grow our social means of livelihood.”
Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri expressed appreciation to Buhari for “providing strong political will to continue with this project and bring it to completion”, saying it has changed the aesthetics of the state.
Diri stressed the need to factor communities into the development equation and appealed to the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) to relocate its headquarters to Bayelsa since most of its operations are domiciled in the state.
He also called for close cooperation between multilevel agencies for development pointing out the need for more deliberate and inclined effort across party lines for the development of Nigeria and Bayelsa State.
Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, who performed the commissioning of behalf of the President, said the completion and commissioning of the Nigerian Content Tower is a salute to Buhari’s commitment for continuity.
Sylva described the completion of the project as a key achievement in the portfolio of priorities given to the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, adding that the president has worked to change the narrative of oil and gas industry for the better.
He assured that the ministry is set to unlock opportunities in the oil and gas industry and eliminate gas wastage while saying that local contractors can do well if given the right opportunities.
NCDMB Executive Secretary, Simbi Wabote, said 95% of the over 600 professional workers among others used in the construction of the edifice were sourced from local manpower.
The Nigerian Content Tower with 1,000 seat conference hall, multilevel car park was designed by a Nigerian and built by an indigenous contractor, Megastar.
Megastar Managing Director, Harcourt Aduke enumerated some of the firm’s challenges to include nature of the soil, crash in foreign exchange and absence of local professionals among others.
According to him, Megastar trained 250 men and women with assistance from the Industrial Training Fund, dug a foundation of over 30 meters deep and got support from the client during the foreign exchange crash to ensure completion of the building.
Hon. Chibudom Nwuche Hails Buhari
Meanwhile, the former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Chibudom Nwuche, OFR, has commended the President and Commander-In-Chief of the armed forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Mohamadu Buhari, on the commissioning of the iconic 17 storey Nigerian Content Development Tower in Yenagoa, Bayelsa state, describing the feat as a landmark and a commitment by Mr. President to the goal of self sustainance in the nations oil and maritime industry.
Hon. Nwuche noted that the iconic 17-storey building, known as the Nigerian Content Tower, with the full complements of a 10megawatts Power Plant and 1000-seater Conference Centre, reflects President Buhari’s drive to provide infrastructure across the country to attract investments, create jobs and eradicate poverty.
Hon. Nwuche said that With the commissioning of this project, President Buhari has put in place a landmark of reference in the Niger Delta to reflect long lasting legacies that signpost the years of oil and gas exploitation in the region.
According to Hon. Nwuche, ‘‘This commissioning brings to the fore our vision in the 4th NASS in initiating the Local Content bill and the importance of local content in all activities of our national life especially with the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic.
He said that local production and patronage of our goods and services remains one of the surest ways to empower our citizens and give them viable opportunities to excel in their chosen professions and business endeavours.
Hon. Nwuche further commended the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, the Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Simbi Kesiye Wabote for the landmark achievement.