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Saturday, December 16, 2023

Reps seek skills transfer from foreign companies operating in Nigeria

JONAS EZIEKE, Abuja

Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu has said that the parliament will frown at foreign companies operating in Nigeria yet refuse to transfer their skills to the locals.

He said that skills transfer will help advance local technology and sustain foreign investments.

Kalu spoke when he received a delegation of businessmen from the Jilin Provincial People’s Congress China who paid him a courtesy call at the national assembly on Thursday.

Jilin province is known as home to several automobile manufacturers including FAW Group Corporation, which is one of China’s largest automotive companies as well as petrochemical industries amongst others.

The Deputy Speaker who noted the long-existing diplomatic relationship between Nigeria and China said that the exchange of ideas was significant to the growth of machinery in the manufacturing sector.

He said: “Equally in this exchange of ideas, it is important to note your capacity in innovations in your significant contributions to the growth of the machinery manufacturing sector, efforts in promoting food security which is one of the cardinal points of the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu who is interested in reducing poverty and hunger in Nigeria through food security and meeting the demands of the growing population, contributing to advancements in healthcare and the well-being of its people, dedication to research, development, production in these critical sectors and commitment to preserving its natural resources and promoting sustainable tourism cannot go unnoticed and that’s why we want a partnership, relationship and exchange of ideas, a deep dive that will help us leverage the strength of each other for nation building.

“We have also heard of the companies from the province interested in operating in Nigeria or operating in Nigeria. Our intention is that there will be skills transfer in such relationships. Situations whereby investors are here and skills are not transferred are actually frowned upon by the legislative arm of government. We want investors that will come into Nigeria and help us advance our technology, various sectors of the economy and in doing that, transfer skills. That will make your transfer of knowledge and your investments here in the country, the advancement of the technological sector more sustainable because sustainability is driven by knowledge. Whatever you bring on board to us, we will adapt based on our unique situation to enable us to impact positively in the sectors that you are interested in”.

Kalu also assured the delegation of legislative intervention, by way of strengthening the laws to realize the needed objectives in the technological sector.

“As a parliament, we recognize the significance of strengthening diplomatic relations and promoting mutual understanding between nations. The exchange of ideas and experiences between our legislative bodies will undoubtedly contribute to the progress of our respective societies and the promotion of global peace and prosperity.

“So, on behalf of the speaker of the House of Representatives, my humble self, the deputy speaker, as well as the leadership and the membership of the House of Representatives, we want to confirm that we are willing to use legislative intervention to make your dream and the purpose of the objective of your visit a productive one and to also use the legislation intervention to ensure that whenever there is an executive buy-in to whatever you are proposing while strengthening the legal framework that will help us have a win-win situation between China and Nigeria”, he said.

Earlier in his presentation, the Vice Chairman of the People’s Congress of Jilin Province, Mr Fan Ruiping said their mission was essentially to seek collaboration with the parliament and the Nigerian government in the area of manufacturing and technology advancement.

For a better society

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