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Monday, May 22, 2017

Zinox chairman, Ekeh applauds FG over local content executive order


The chairman of Zinox Group, Dr. Leo-Stan Ekeh has applauded the Federal Government (FG) on the recent signing of an Executive Order compelling its agencies to buy Made-in-Nigeria goods and services, reports ITRealms.

This move, Ekeh noted, would go a long way in boosting indigenous businesses and the local content drive in the country.

Speaking on this at the weekend in Lagos, Ekeh said that the order, signed by the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo last Thursday dwelt mostly on the preference for indigenous goods and services as well as the removal of bureaucracies which stall businesses. 

ITRealms recalls that the stipulated Executive Order, as detailed in a document presented by Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah, stated that all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the Federal Government shall grant preference to local manufacturers of goods and service providers in their procurement processes for a number of items including food and beverages, motor vehicles, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) products, pharmaceuticals, construction materials, furniture and fittings, among others.

Thus reacting, Ekeh commended the FG’s move as a step in the right direction and a potential game-changer for many quality-minded local businesses in Nigeria.

“This announcement alone would have excited an army of 21st Century young Nigerian entrepreneurs who have been facing depression based on rejection of their certified products by government agencies and parastatals. It is a great development in our new Nigeria and I pray the Federal Government demonstrates the will to implement this to the letter in order to activate real and progressive development in the country. As you know, this policy direction will potentially result in massive job creation for our youths.

“Granting preference to local manufacturers is a sure way of igniting the spirit of indigenous entrepreneurship. This is the standard the world over. Nigeria boasts a number of world-class companies whose products can compete favourably with those of their foreign counterparts. The problem has always been the right form of support from the government.

“Zinox, for instance, is patronized by a number of multinationals. Apart from Chevron Nigeria who remain one of our most regular customers, we have also enjoyed consistent patronage from other multinationals such as Total and Shell. Some of these companies – Chevron, Shell, Total have been patronizing Zinox for over 14 years and this is based purely on service quality as we all know the high standards these companies aspire to.

“I must commend the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari and the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo for this bold move which will certainly go a long way in strengthening our local industries, provide more employment for our youths and boost our local currency,” Ekeh declared.

Recollecting that Osinbajo had signed three Executive Orders giving specific instructions on a number of policy issues. They include the promotion of transparency and efficiency in the business environment designed to facilitate the ease of doing business in the country; timely submission of annual budgetary estimates by all statutory and non-statutory agencies, including companies owned by the Federal Government and the support for local contents in public procurement by the Federal Government.

“Any document issued by any MDA of government for the solicitation of offers, bids, proposals or quotations for the supply or provision of goods and services shall expressly indicate preference to be granted to domestic manufacturers, contractors and service providers and the information required to establish the eligibility of a bid for such preference.
“All solicitation documents shall require bidders or potential manufacturers, suppliers, contractors and consultants to provide a verifiable statement on the local content of the goods and services to be provided.

“Made in Nigeria shall be given overwhelming preference or at least 40% of the procurement spend on locally manufactured goods and services providers. Some priority items include: uniforms and footwear, food and beverages, motor vehicles, pharmaceuticals, construction materials, Information and Communication Technology, furniture and fittings and stationery.


“Within 90 days of this order, the heads of MDAs shall assess the monitoring, enforcement, implementation and compliance with this Executive Order and Local Content stipulations in the Public Procurement Act, or any relevant act within their agencies,” the document had stated.

Chuks Egbune/GEE
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