Senators yesterday voted overwhelmingly for the Local Content Bill, paving way for its introduction before the National Assembly for approval.
The Bill provides a framework to facilitate local ownership, control and financing of activities connected with the exploitation of petroleum and mineral resources.
The Bill, sponsored by Baringo Senator Gideon Moi (pictured), is expected to increase local revenue along the value chain in the exploration of petroleum and mineral resources.
“The Bill goes behind the idea of monetisation of revenue. It is about growing our collective capacity and capabilities as a country. I see local content more than handouts. It should be empowerment of citizens. We want our natural resources to benefit all of us,” said Gideon when he moved the Motion.
Kenya and Uganda are pushing laws to guarantee local communities maximum benefits from petroleum and minerals. The laws aim at promoting value-addition through local expertise.
During debate on the Bill, senators praised it for ensuring locals get the best out of natural resources extracted from their localities.
“The proposed law is good and well thought-out, and I fully support it. It is very explicit when it comes to the interests of counties and locals as far as the extractive industry is concerned,” said Senator Enoch Wambua (Kitui).
Gideon reintroduced the Bill in the House in March last year, months after it lapsed with the last Parliament in August 2017.
Already the Petroleum Act provides the country with a comprehensive framework to guide the development of regulations to implement local content.
The Local Content Bill 2018 covers local content in two extractive sectors - mining, oil and gas. However the Mining Act regulates local content in the mining sector.
Players in the oil and gas sector in the East African Community are expected to deliberate on best practices to promote local content and the implications to different partner states.
The local content Bill offers an opportunity for residents in mineral-rich areas to not only get the right technical skills but also form partnerships to build local expertise.
Local companies will be expected to provide a wide range of services in petroleum and mining fields.
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