Nigeria’s president signs order to boost domestic production, jobs

FILE PHOTO: Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari addresses the 72nd United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York, U.S., September 19, 2017. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton/Files
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari /REUTERS

Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has signed an executive order aimed at boosting the domestic production of goods and creating jobs in science, technology and engineering in the West African country.

The executive order also prohibits the ministry of interior from giving visas to foreign workers whose skills are readily available in Nigeria, the presidency said in a statement circulated on Monday.

He said the order related to the planning and execution of projects related to science, engineering and technology, as well as national security.

“I have repeatedly emphasized my vision for a Nigeria that produces what it consumes. To attain that vision, it is vital that local companies get preference in planning, designing and executing Science, Tech & Engineering projects,” Buhari said.

The president “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 presidency said in a statement circulated on Monday.

Buhari has frequently spoken about ending country’s dependence on oil exports while also creating jobs by boosting local food production.

The central bank restricted access to foreign currency to import certain goods in a bid to stimulate local manufacturing months after Buhari came to power in May 2015.

Nigeria fell into a recession in 2016 largely caused by low oil prices and militant attacks on energy facilities in the Niger Delta region.

It emerged from recession in the second quarter of 2017, largely on higher oil prices.

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