By Raheem Akingbolu
Nigerian professionals under the auspices of the Association of Professional Bodies of Nigeria (APBN) have identified local content development as a necessary strategy that would take the country out of economic quagmire.
The professionals who spread across various sectors of the economy also advocated the need for economic drivers to engage APBN members in their areas of comparative advantage.
APBN’s President, Mr. Akin Oyegbola, who spoke at the second board meeting of the body argued that engaging indigenous professionals had become imperative for the nation to realise its dream of being among the best economies in the world.
The meeting was hosted by the Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB).
Oyegbola said the association would not relent in its efforts in ensuring that local professionals were given the much-needed attention in the country, adding that this would be achieved through constant engagement with critical stakeholders, especially those in government.
While advising the federal government against giving undue advantage to expatriates, over their local counterparts, the APBN boss also called on the federal government to introduce a system of pricing that would aid economic development and ameliorate the resultant burden on the citizens.
“By patronising local professionals, in compliance with the Local Content Act 2010 and the Executive Order No.5 (EO5 of February 2018) the federal government is directly and indirectly sending a strong signal to the world that Nigerian professionals are no pushovers,” he stated
While commending the federal government for being part of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement, Oyegbola, however, stressed the need for indigenous professionals to leverage the trade agreement; since it provided them the channel of exploring varied opportunities in the vast African markets.
In an interview, the Guest Speaker, Dr. DanAzumi Ibrahim, expressed the federal government’s commitment to promoting and engaging competent indigenous professionals, rather than bringing in, indiscriminately, expatriates to prosecute jobs that could be handled by Nigerian professionals.
Ibrahim, who is the Director General, National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP), stated that one of the ways the incumbent government had demonstrated such commitment was through its Executive Order 5, which, he added, the government was vigorously pursuing.
According to him, the federal government was gradually moving towards the implementation of the Order, signed by the president, to encourage Nigerian professionals.