Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari signed a local content Executive Order on Monday to stop foreigners benefiting from jobs which are available to locals in the fields of science, technology and engineering.
In the proclamation titled “Presidential executive order 5 for planning and execution of projects, promotion of Nigerian content in contracts and science, engineering and technology,” Buhari 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 also prohibits the Ministry of Interior from giving visas to foreign workers whose skills are readily available in Nigeria.
Ministries, Departments and Agencies are also directed to engage indigenous professionals in the planning, design and execution of national security projects. 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.
“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,” the document reads.
Worries have been expressed in the past over the number of foreigners in certain positions in certain sectors of the economy at the expense of Nigerians. One of those who had showed concern over the matter includes the country’s Industrial Training Fund (ITF) that raised the alarm over the infiltration of the nation’s labor market by foreigners in 2017.
Africa’s most populated country is half youth and as the youth population grows, so does the unemployment rate. Youth unemployment Rate in Nigeria increased to 33.10 percent in the third quarter of 2017 from 29.50 percent in the second quarter of 2017. Youth Unemployment Rate in Nigeria averaged 21.73 percent from 2014 until 2017, reaching an all-time high of 33.10 percent in the third quarter of 2017.
The country’s unemployment rate that rose from 14.2% to 18.8% in 2017, has been attributed to several factors including inadequate skills and flawed and inconsistent public policies on employment. Policymakers in the country have had to confront inadequate information and data that can form the basis of effective planning.