The minister of power, works and housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, has revealed that one of the things President Muhammadu Buhari sought to change by approving the Executive Order 5 was the inclusion of Nigerians in the productivity cycle and to enable them get preferential opportunities for jobs that would be created in the country. He stated this in Abuja at the plenary session of the 2018 extraordinary general meeting of the Association for Consulting Engineering in Nigeria on ‘MDAs and the Implementation of the Presidential Executive Order 5’.
He recalled that his office received a letter from the office of the President on February 22, 2018, informing him about the approval of an executive order. Fashola said that he immediately minuted the same directive to the permanent secretaries for power, works and housing, requesting that the presidential order should be integrated into the procurement compliance with BPP. The minister described Executive Order 5 as a 16-page presidential order and decision taken in pursuit of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), meant to restore economic growth through diversification and macro economic stability. Fashola noted that one of the enduring objectives of Order 5 was to create jobs locally and stimulate productive activity that facilitates inclusion. This he said, was because the focal point of Order 5 was a commitment to made in Nigeria, adding that if Nigerians failed to accept indigenous products, the MDAs were acting in vain.
“The MDAs have no choice but to comply with a presidential directive, and not only is this specified in Section 2 to 15 of the order but section 11 on page 11 makes provisions for sanctions for noncompliance.” he added. He listed the benefits of Order 5 as embracing science, technology and innovation (STI), increasing the quantum of value created in the Nigerian economy and promoting made in Nigeria campaign. Also, to give preference to Nigerian companies and firms in the award of contract, support foreign companies who showed demonstrable and verifiable plan for indigenous capacity development and enable Nigerian companies to lead in any consultancy services, including joint venture relationships relating to law, engineering, ICT, architecture, procurement, and quantity surveying.
He said that the MDAs would play a statutory role in processing approvals for expatriate quota, entry permits and visas into Nigeria and issuance of permits. Fashola emphasized that there was the need to curtail the abuse of the permits by Nigerians who would collude with foreigners even as he called on relevant professional institutions to bridge competency defects that would make Nigerians vulnerable to foreign manpower. He was optimistic that localising production and consumption would cripple unemployment since demand would boost production and create jobs.