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…as Ijidale urges the contractors to register and get verified

Local contractors in Ekiti will consistently be prioritized for a significant portion of contracts awarded by the state government. They are urged to promptly adhere to registration requirements to secure these contracts.

Mr. Olalekan Ijidale, Director General of the Bureau of Local Contents in Ekiti State, conveyed this message during a meeting with contractors held at the conference hall of the governor’s office in Ado Ekiti.

The Director General also explained that the labor force for the execution of contractual projects in Ekiti would be sourced from the state.

He emphasized the importance of patronizing Ekiti people for project execution and outlined modalities for securing contracts, highlighting the benefits of the initiative to grow the state economy and empower its human resources.

Mr. Ijidale stated that the government would identify and verify local contractors to keep adequate records of all contract execution activities in the state.

He urged both indigenous and non-indigenous contractors to complete their registration before March 28, 2024, to allow the government to finalize its verification processes.

Before being awarded a contract, contractors must approach the office of local content for verification of their address, personality, business authenticity, bill of quantities, and measurement quantities. The Bureau of Local Contents will ensure that contracts are awarded in line with the provisions of the law of local contents, prioritizing the promotion of local content principles and effective work by contractors.

Mr. Ijidale extended the initiative to non-indigenous individuals in Ekiti who have been living in the state and regularly paying taxes, charging the contractors to engage the services of local labor force and suppliers.

He emphasized that any society aspiring to attain socio-economic, security, agricultural, health, and infrastructural prosperity must adequately engage local workers. Mr. Ijidale mentioned that people from outside Ekiti could be given more contracts only when it is certain that no qualified contractor in the state could handle such a project or the required materials are not available in the state.

The state Commissioner for Information, Chief Taiwo Olatunbosun, explained that involving local contractors aims to prevent capital flight and reduce poverty levels in the state. He emphasized that patronizing local workers is a way of building and promoting expertise in human resources, urging the contractors to deliver quality jobs and shun sharp practices.

Similarly, the Special Adviser to the governor, Office of Transformation and Service Delivery, Dr. John Ekundayo, advised the contractors to avoid shoddy jobs for personal gains, as the government plans to implement a policy to rate contractors in the state based on quality and effective service delivery. Dr. Ekundayo urged experienced contractors to hire and teach younger and less experienced individuals to develop and improve their expertise for better services.

During the forum, some stakeholders highlighted challenges encountered, especially with temporary laborers engaged for services, stating that most laborers were not ready to work for the money being paid to them.

Contractors present at the forum, including Mr. Olaniyi Afolabi, Olatayo Oluwadare, and Timothy Akosile, commended Governor Biodun Oyebanji for prioritizing the involvement of local contractors, recognizing its potential to stimulate business growth and advance the economy of Ekiti State.

The contractors recommended the implementation of new programs to educate laborers and provide assurance to local contractors that laborers would adhere to the terms and conditions of their employment.

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