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Senate decries foreign dominance in Nigeria’s diving sector



PIB passes first reading in Senate

The Nigerian Senate has decried the dominance of foreign operators in the employment of personnel in the nation’s diving sector.

Specifically, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Local Content, Teslim Folarin, said there were indications that the act on local content has not been complied with in the diving sector.

Folarin made the statement on Thursday, during an investigative hearing on a motion to ensure strict compliance with statutory regulations and provisions in Nigeria’s diving sector.

He argued that the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act 2010 had provided that 70 per cent of divers in offshore energy projects must be Nigerians, noting that Section 28 sub-section (1) provides that Nigerians should be accorded first consideration for employment and training in projects to be executed by the operator in the oil and gas industry.

However, he said foreign dominance has allegedly deprived indigenous divers their rightful place in line with the act, noting that it was unacceptable, particularly at a time when unemployment was on the rise.

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Meanwhile, Folarin stressed the need to put in place a proper regulatory mechanism to enable the diving sector to thrive and benefit Nigerians the more.

Folarin said the hearing provided the needed platform for relevant stakeholders to brainstorm on how best to address the challenges inherent in the sector and make appropriate legislative recommendations to revamp the diving sector.

He assured stakeholders that their views would be looked into, dispassionately, in the interest of Nigeria.

In his remarks, the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, said it was discovered that there had been some lacuna in the regulatory activities of the diving sector.

He said the ministry through the board has designed a work plan for the regulation of the sector, assuring that the ministry would work with the government agencies responsible for driving adherence to local content, particularly on the employment and safety measures in the sector.

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