The Nigerian Enterprises Promotion Decree of 1972, also known as Decree No. 7, was a landmark legislation in Nigeria\’s economic history.
Enacted during a period of intense nationalization efforts, it sought to promote indigenous participation in the country\’s economic activities.
The decree played a significant role in shaping Nigeria\’s industrial landscape and fostering economic independence.
In this article, I critically examine the key provisions and implications of the Nigerian Enterprises Promotion Decree of 1972.
At the time of Nigeria\’s independence in 1960, the country\’s economy was largely dependent on foreign investors and multinational corporations.
The post-colonial government recognized the need to reduce this dependency and actively promote the involvement of Nigerian individuals and entities in economic activities.
Thus, the Nigerian Enterprises Promotion Decree was enacted in 1972 to provide a legal framework for economic indigenization.
Key Provisions of the Nigerian Enterprises Promotion Decree of 1972:
Nigerianization of Companies: The Decree stipulated that all enterprises operating in Nigeria must be incorporated under Nigerian law and be majority-owned by Nigerian citizens or entities.
This provision aimed to transfer control and ownership of businesses from foreign investors to Nigerians.
Minimum Nigerian Shareholding: The decree mandated that at least 60% of the share capital of companies operating in Nigeria should be held by Nigerians. This provision ensured that Nigerians had a substantial stake in the ownership and decision-making processes of businesses.
Transfer of Ownership: To facilitate the transfer of ownership to Nigerians, the decree provided for the gradual transfer of shares held by foreign investors to Nigerians over time. It aimed to achieve a fair and equitable distribution of economic power within the country.
Expansion of Local Investment Opportunities: The decree encouraged Nigerian citizens and companies to invest in strategic sectors of the economy.
It sought to create a conducive environment for local entrepreneurship and foster the growth of indigenous industries.
Government Support: The government, through the decree, pledged to provide financial and technical assistance to Nigerian-owned enterprises.
This support aimed to enhance their competitiveness and ensure their successful participation in the economy.
Implications and Achievements:
Economic Empowerment: The Nigerian Enterprises Promotion Decree of 1972 marked a significant step towards economic empowerment and self-reliance.
Promoting indigenous ownership and control of businesses, it aimed to reduce Nigeria\’s reliance on foreign investors and foster economic independence.
Local Job Creation: The decree facilitated the creation of job opportunities for Nigerians, as indigenous businesses expanded and took on a greater share of economic activities.
This led to increased employment rates and improved living standards for many Nigerians.
Industrial Development: The decree contributed to the growth and development of indigenous industries. By encouraging local investment, it helped establish and nurture a vibrant industrial sector, leading to the diversification of Nigeria\’s economy.
Technological Transfer: The requirement for local ownership and control of businesses led to the transfer of technology and knowledge from foreign companies to Nigerians.
This knowledge transfer enhanced local capabilities and fostered technological advancements within the country.
National Pride and Unity: The Nigerian Enterprises Promotion Decree instilled a sense of national pride and unity.
It gave Nigerians a greater stake in their country\’s economic development, promoting a shared vision of progress and prosperity.
The Nigerian Enterprises Promotion Decree of 1972 was a pivotal piece of legislation that aimed to promote economic independence and indigenous participation in Nigeria\’s economy.
By facilitating the transfer of ownership and control of businesses to Nigerians, it helped create a more inclusive and self-reliant economic landscape.
The decree\’s provisions laid the foundation for the growth of indigenous industries, job creation, and technological advancements. While subsequent policies have modified