Wale Ajimotokan in Abuja
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said the Federal Government will soon adopt a policy to give the right of first refusal to indigenous consultants in its projects.
He disclosed this in Abuja when he received the Public Relations Consultants Association of Nigeria (PR-CAN) on a courtesy visit to his office. He said even when a foreign consultant is coming into the country the company must involve indigenous consultants.
â€œI remember that at the last Federal Executive Council Meeting, it was hotly debated that in all forms of consultancy we should as a matter of policy insist that no consultant should come without his own Nigerian partner. That way we believe that it will make it easier for us to develop the capacity, skills and the expertise of our home-grown consultants,â€™â€ Mohammed said.
He said when enacted, the policy will not only give impetus to job creation but it will also assist in the development of the capacity of the indigenous consultants.
â€œWhen you involve your own consultants in your projects, you are not just taking expert advice, you are also employing people who have already bought into the project and who appreciate the fact that the success of that project is the success of the country.
â€œWe believe in skills and technology transfer but if you donâ€™t give your people a chance, who is going to give them a chance? People argue that the Nigerian consultants donâ€™t have the requisite experience. Even if that is the case, how will they get it if you continue every time to shun them and you prefer foreign consultants? These foreign consultants got to where they got to because they were given the opportunity from their country,â€ the Minister said.
He said once the policy is active, government ministries and agencies will begin to involve consultants like PR-CAN in their programmes.