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July 25, 2024

Local content: Ekiti Govt begins clampdown on erring contractors

The Ekiti State government read the riot act to contractors handling various road projects in the state on Thursday, directing them to comply with the local content laws of the state.

Speaking with newsmen in Ado-Ekiti while monitoring the compliance of the law, the Director General, Bureau of Local Content in Ekiti State, Olalekan Ijidale, said the law stipulates that 40 per cent of Ekiti indigenes are expected to be employed by the contractors.

He disclosed that the contractors are expected to employ artisans, both skilled and unskilled, from Ekiti State in the execution of the projects that are being funded through taxpayers’ money.

He said: “We are out to enforce local content law as it is amended and to ensure that the compliance rate is improved. We have met with the contractors about two or three times to explain to them and synergise together on how Ekiti can be partners in the execution of projects in the state.

“We have a law now in Ekiti State that was assented to by the governor and passed by the House of Assembly. The law states that local content project execution should be a minimum of 40 per cent and we want to see at what rate our people comply.

“If government is pushing out contracts worth several billions with monies being paid by taxpayers, the contractors should also do their bid by including our artisans, both skilled and unskilled, in the execution of those projects.

“We discovered that these companies bring in a lot of people from other states, even from Cotonou, to execute projects in the state and Nigeria. We see a lot of people in that locality still struggling to get a job. This is what we want to reduce and ensure that our artisans are partnered. We want to ensure that our skilled and professionals are patronised.

“That is why our governor insists that our people, both skilled and unskilled, are patronised and we do this by enforcement because people are not ready to comply.

“We have started orientation and collaboration with professional bodies. We are trying to orientate our people towards the execution of their skills. For some of these companies, their conditions are not favourable. We need to mediate between the two.”

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