Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, has said that by 2027, Nigeria would have increased local content in the sector from its current 10 per cebt to about 40%.

Speaking during a tour of Lee Engineering and Construction Company’s fabrication plant in Warri, Delta State last weekend, the minister said it is through such deliberate policies that the country can attain full industrialisation and continue to create jobs for Nigerians.

He said the federal government is committed towards supporting indigenous oil and gas companies. Adding that it is through government’s patronage and support that the Local Content Act can be fully realised.

He stressed that Nigeria was determined to raise the bar in promoting local content in the oil and gas sector. The minister promised full support for the company to attain greater heights.

On the facilities he met on ground at Lee Engineering and Construction Company, the minister blurted, “Great effort. This is the kind of story Nigeria requires.

“They are inspiring stories that will push the aspirations and ambitions of youths to great heights. This firm started from humble beginning and has grown to a level that we can only marvel.

“As government, this is the essence local content is made of, and we will stand shoulder to shoulder with LEE Engineering in their desire and quest to achieve enviable heights.”

Executive Chairman of Lee Engineering, Dr Leemon Ikpea, urged the federal government to grant import duty waiver and tax relief to indigenous fabrication companies to enable them continue to support the government in job creation and boosting the economy.

Ikpea said Lee Engineering and other indigenous companies, which have supported the government in creating jobs, deserve tax holiday and import duty waiver.

“We seek for waiver on import duties and tax relief for indigenous companies, like Lee Engineering, that are contributing immensely to the economy.

“Despite the adverse and devastating effect of COVID-19 on business and the economy, we deliberately refused to reduce of workforce because of our commitment and support for the government,” the chairman said.

By Chibisi Ohakah, abuja

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