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President Buhari signs Air Services Agreements; Executive Order to improve Local Content in Science, Engineering procurement

President Muhammadu Buhari
By Ismaila Chafe
President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday in Abuja signed the Instruments of Ratification of the Bilateral Air Services Agreements between Nigeria and Algeria; Congo; the People’s Republic of China; Qatar and Singapore.
Also on Monday, President Buhari in Abuja signed Executive Order 5 to improve local content in public procurement with science, engineering and technology components.
Malam Garba Shehu, the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, made this known in statements in Abuja on Monday.
Shehu stated that the signing of the agreements by the President followed approval by the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
He added that “with the execution of these Instruments, it is expected that Nigeria’s aviation links with the respective countries will improve significantly.”
The proclamation (Executive Order) is entitled; ‘‘PRESIDENTIAL EXECUTIVE ORDER 5 FOR PLANNING AND EXECUTION OF PROJECTS, PROMOTION OF NIGERIAN CONTENT IN CONTRACTS AND SCIENCE, ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY.’’
According to the statement, the Executive Order is expected to promote the application of science, technology and innovation towards achieving the nation’s development goals across all sectors of the economy.
“The President, pursuant to the authority vested in him by the Constitution, ordered that all ‘procuring authorities shall give preference to Nigerian companies and firms in the award of contracts, in line with the Public Procurement Act 2007.”
The Executive Order, according to the statement, also prohibits the Ministry of Interior from giving visas to foreign workers whose skills are readily available in Nigeria.
It, however, notes that where expertise is lacking, procuring entities will give preference to foreign companies and firms with a demonstrable and verifiable plan for indigenous development, prior to the award of such contracts.
The statement said President Buhari also directed Ministries, Departments and Agencies to engage indigenous professionals in the planning, design and execution of national security projects.
It added that ‘‘consideration shall only be given to a foreign professional, where it is certified by the appropriate authority that such expertise is not available in Nigeria.’’

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