The Nigerian-American Chamber of Commerce (NACC) has projected that government could plough back to the economy up to $5 billion if the local content policy is diligently implemented.

The Chamber’s Vice President, Ehi Braimah, made the projection in his paper titled ‘The role of Nigeria’s Local Content Policy and its Impact on Sustainable Economic Value Creation’ delivered at group’s August Breakfast meeting in Lagos.

He noted that there were synergies the local supply chains for human and material resources could benefit from in the oil and gas industry, Information Communications Technology (ICT), maritime, agriculture, manufacturing, engineering, power, finance and insurance through skill transfer, collaborations, logistics, funding and strategic capabilities.

Braimah explained that with over 80 percent of the materials for production sourced locally in the cement industry, the country had already achieved a significant level of backward integration, recalling also the various policies that have been initiated to promote backward integration in food processing.

According to him, the regulatory role of the local content policy is to create access to benefits of the nation’s natural resources with the attendant implications for sustainable socio-economic all inclusive growth and wealth creations

The NACC’s leader explained that the policy was also seen as a strategy to increase the participation of local firms in the value chain of various sectors; improve logistics and create more employment opportunities for the indigenous workforce, amongst other benefits.

Braimah said: “It must be stated that Nigeria has long experience of local content policy in the oil and gas sector with the establishment of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act in 2010.

“The Act, being enforced by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, sets the minimum target for Nigerian participation in over 200 categories of oil services with the aim of fostering backward and forward linkages”, he added.

According to him, while the adoption of local content policy for the benefits of developing oil rich countries is hardly new, the level to which the policy can achieve this goal appeared not to have been fully ascertained in Nigeria

Noting that the impact of local policy on local value creation has continued to generate divergent views amongst development experts, Braimah restated the Chamber’s commitment to extend the local content policy agenda to other sectors of the economy.

In his remarks at the event, the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Simbi Wabote, pointed that the success of the policy remained visible in the fabrication, training, vessels acquisition, manufacturing, pipe coating, among others.

The industry regulator, who was represented by the Director, Planning, Research and Statistics, of the board, Patrick Obah, identified the integration of the Egina FPSO, the first in country is being witnessed, as one of the major hallmarks of the increasing impact of the policy on the nation’s economy.