…Stops issuance of visa to foreigners with skills available in Nigeria
Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, signed Executive Order 5 to improve local content in public procurement with science, engineering and technology components, the Presidency has said.
The Executive Order prohibits the Ministry of Interior from giving visas to foreign workers whose skills are readily available in Nigeria.
In a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President, Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the Executive Order is expected to promote the application of science, technology and innovation towards achieving the nation’s development goals across all sectors of the economy.
The Presidential Media Aide said that pursuant to the authority vested in him by the Constitution, Buhari had ordered that all ‘‘procuring authorities shall give preference to Nigerian companies and firms in the award of contracts, in line with the Public Procurement Act 2007.”
On stopping issuance of visas to foreign workers whose skills are readily available in Nigeria, the government, however, noted that where expertise is lacking, procuring entities will give preference to foreign companies and firms with a demonstrable and verifiable plan for indigenous development, prior to the award of such contracts.
In the proclamation entitled, “Presidential Executive Order 5 for Planning and Execution of Projects, Promotion of Nigerian Content in Contracts and Science, Engineering and Technology,” the President also directed Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to engage indigenous professionals in the planning, design and execution of national security projects.
He added that, ‘‘consideration shall only be given to a foreign professional where it is certified by the appropriate authority that such expertise is not available in Nigeria.’’
In a related development, President Buhari, Monday, signed the Instruments of Ratification of the Bilateral Air Services Agreements (BASA) between the government of Nigeria and the governments of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria; the Republic of Congo; the People’s Republic of China; the State of Qatar and the Republic of Singapore.
With the execution of these instruments, it is expected that Nigeria’s aviation links with the respective countries will improve significantly.