Senate to hold public hearing on the Nigerian Economic Diversification Bill 2022, on Monday, December 19; legislation aims at providing a legislative framework to enable the federal government’s diversification policies
The Senate is set to provide the much-needed legislative framework to enable the federal government to pursue its diversification policies to improve the Nigerian economy.
The legislative chamber is seeking to achieve the same with the passage of the Nigerian Economic Diversification Bill 2022, currently before the National Assembly, and for which a public hearing has been scheduled for Monday, December 19, 2022.
Hearing on the bill is organised by the Senate Committee on National Planning, chaired by Senator Olubunmi Adetunmbi.
The bill, which seeks to establish the Nigerian Economic Diversification Council, provides for the Nigerian Resource Development Plan, as well as the transfer of technology for Nigerian capacity development and succession plan. Other provisions include establishing and managing a startup development programme, issuing work permits and expatriate quotas, and formalising and developing artisanal and small-scale miners of solid minerals.
It also specifically focuses on promoting Nigerian Content Development in automobile manufacturing, the maritime industry and credit guarantee schemes. Importantly, if the piece of legislation becomes law, it becomes mandatory for Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government to submit an Annual Nigerian Content and Economic Diversification Development Report and Annual Budget.
Other sectors of the economy duly covered in the bill are Information and Communications Technology, Health, Agriculture and Agro-Allied, Power etc.
Speaking on the bill, its sponsor, Deputy Senate Whip, Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi (APC, Niger North), said the same provides for the “establishment and maintenance of programmes for the overall development of the Nigerian economy, more especially, to encourage the growth of Nigerian industries, services, technologies in order to diversify the Nigerian economy and raise the standard of living of persons living in Nigeria to a reasonable level.”
He added that the scope of the Bill “are to be applicable to all Ministries, Arms and Agencies of the Federal Government of Nigeria and private businesses.” “However, local content development in the oil and gas sector is excluded from the application of this Bill,” he noted.
The bill was read for the first time on December 8, 2021.