Business National

Stakeholders has commended the Federal Government over the recent signing of an executive order compelling its agencies to buy Made-in-Nigeria goods and services, noting that the move will go a long way in boosting indigenous businesses and the local content drive in Nigeria, however a local contractor with the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Company Ltd (NLNG),  Macobarb International Ltd has appealed to the federal government to intervene in a claim of N1.5b it launched against NLNG  for contract abuse from 2014

The order, which was signed by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo last week, dwells mostly on the preference for indigenous goods and services as well as the removal of bureaucracies which stall businesses.

The stipulated Executive Order, as detailed in a document presented by Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah, states 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.

In his reaction, Chairman of Zinox Group, Dr. Leo Stan Ekeh hailed 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.”

Also, Engr Chris Uwaje, while commending the government, urged the government not to relent in its efforts to support the local software industry through sufficient policy frameworks like the one signed by Vice President Osinbajo. He added that this has been the view of many stakeholders in the industry over a long period of time.

Meanwhile, a Niger Delta based company, Macobarb International Ltd has launched a claim of N1.5b against the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Company Ltd (NLNG) for contract abuse from 2014

In a petition which was sent to the National Assembly and the Nigeria National Petroleum Company, Mr. Shedrack Ogboru, Managing Director, Macobarb claimed among others that the refusal of NLNG to pay the company for job executed, led to the forced resignation of Diamond Bank staff, Mr. Christopher Ukah, by whom Macobarb secured a N68 million Loan for the Contract.

The company blamed one, Bayo Adenrele for his baseless rejection of Macobarb Design, “Roof Cover over RA1 Football Field Spectators’ Stand”, as head of PEO, dept in charge of Design in 2010. “His Superiors approved design, engaged Macobarb and another to use Macobarb design to Construct Stand for NLNG. The stand as Constructed by Macobarb is a beauty appreciated by all in NLNG till date. That his superior approved Macobarb design against his expressed wish, is reason for his grouse against Macobarb”, Mr Ogboru lamented.

“Mr. Bayo Adenrele would without any respect to the constitutional dignity, personal rights of the MD of Macobarb, discriminate against him in several particulars not limited to treating the MD of Macobarb with disdain and walk him out of his office when he came to seek the reasons why he is delaying or has refused to sign his portion of the certificate

Fortunately, Mr. Ogboru pointed out that, “NLNG personnel framed the Contract, so if anyone should know the details and operations of the contract it was NLNG. But from the following particulars it would seem there is disconnect between the framers of the contract and the personnel having the final say on implementation of the contract. Contracted, an NLNG senior official told reporters that that the contractor should go to court if he has any issue with the company as they were provisions in the contract for arbitration.

However, Mr. Ogboru responded by explaining to journalists that the game plan of NLNG was to frustrate local companies and the local content act. He said they wanted him to go to court because they knew that court processes in Nigeria sometimes might last for over 10 years by which most of the key actors would have left the company and the new management might not understand the intricacies of the contract. NLNG is partly owned by NNPC, 50%, Shell of Netherlands, 25%, Total of France, 15%, and Agip of Italy, 10%.

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