Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola

A non-government organisation in Nigeria has asked President Muhammadu Buhari and the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, to pave the way for indigenous companies in the country to compete effectively with other multinational firms in the construction sector.

The group, Committee for Political Freedom & Responsibility (Cpfr), said one of the ways the government could achieve that was by removing the “requirement” that makes it mandatory for local companies to show evidence of annual turnover of up to N10 billion before they could tender for some road construction contracts.

“Cpfr considers this practice to be against Nigeria’s national interest and against the principle of natural justice and fairness because it places a permanent advantage on the multinational companies over the local ones,” the group said on Tuesday, in a press statement signed by its National Chairman, Ubong Ikpatt.

“It is important to note that the multinational companies operating in Nigeria were first nurtured, supported and encouraged to grow to a certain height in their home countries before they were able to eventually expand to other places like Nigeria,” the group said.

The group said it was unlikely for local construction companies in the country to achieve an annual turnover of N10 billion if they were not getting patronage from the government.

It said, “The patronage for multinational construction companies, if not controlled, can continue to encourage capital flight from Nigeria, while in the other hand giving jobs to the indigenous companies can help grow the local economy.

“Cpfr hereby call on His Excellency President Mohammadu Buhari, the Honourable Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola and other ministers to abolish this obnoxious policy and practice, and work out other realistic ways of assessing and grading local construction companies based on their experience, previous record of delivery, as well as their resources,” the group said.

The ministry could not be reached immediately for comment on the issue.

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