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Nigeria: Local Content Bill Signed into Law

(Apr. 30, 2010) On April 22, 2010, Goodluck Jonathan, Nigeria's Acting President, signed into law the Local Content Bill 2010 [the Act], a piece of legislation designed to increase participation of Nigerian ventures and workforce in the oil sector. (Mohammed S. Shehu & Hamisu Muhammad, Jonathan Signs Local Content Bill into Law, DAILY TRUST, Apr. 23, 2010, available at

The Act establishes the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board with the mandate to oversee the implementation of the provisions of the law. (Onwuka Nzeshi, House Set to Pass Local Content Bill, THIS DAY, Mar. 4, 2010, available at During the signing ceremony, Jonathan stated that the Board “shall make procedures to guide, monitor, coordinate and implement [the Act] to ensure and enforce measurable and continuous growth of Nigerian content in all oil and gas operations in the country.” (Shehu & Muhammad, supra.)

The Act provides for preferential treatment of local ventures and workforce. It states:

[Nigerian operators] shall be given first consideration in the award of oil blocks, oil field licences, oil lifting licences and shipping services and all projects for which contracts are to be awarded in the Nigerian oil and gas industry, … and there shall be exclusive consideration for Nigerian indigenous service. (Nzeshi, supra.)

The Act also provides a host of requirements designed to ensure workforce development of and technology transfer to Nigerians. It requires that, whenever possible, operators will hire Nigerians. When the operators are unable to find skilled workers, the Act requires that they put in place programs and procedures for training workers and make periodic progress reports to the Board. In addition, the Act mandates that operators provide a succession plan for all positions filled by expatriates, except for five percent of management positions, which may be permanently held by foreigners, with the plan that Nigerians take over after a maximum of four years of apprenticeship under incumbent expatriates. (Nzeshi, supra.)