By Sunday Bassey
Uyo – Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, the Minister of Science and Technology on Thursday restated the commitment of the ministry to promote the patronage of made in Nigeria products and services.
Onu said this while declaring open a two-day dialogue and sensitisation programme with stakeholders on the promotion of made in Nigeria products in Uyo, Akwa Ibom.
“The Federal Ministry of Science and Technology is indeed committed to ensuring that we patronise made in Nigeria products and services,” he said.
He said that the ministry had produced a road map that would create a synergy with the Civil Society of Organisations (CSOs) for the growth of the country.
Onu said that several investors had shown interest to invest in the products and services that would encourage Made in Nigeria products.
He said that the ministry would partner with CSO coalition to inform Nigerians to support and ensure patronage of indigenous products and services.
“The CSO is very dynamic in the country, we want to work with you through your representative NGO network.
“Please always attend to us and always support us to promote made in Nigeria products and services, ” he said.
Onu was represented at the occasion by Mr E. J Udoh, the Director, Science and Technology Promotion, Federal Ministry of Science and Technology.
According to him, the ministry will host the second Technology and Innovation Expo in Abuja in March 2018.
He urged the CSOs to bring entrepreneurs into production and services that would promote made in Nigeria products during the expo.
Dr Lanre Adebayo, the Director General, Centre for Applied Policy and Social Advocacy (CAPSA), Abuja, said that Nigeria was importing almost everything before the present government came to power.
He said that Nigeria imported N67 trillion worth of raw materials in the past 10 to 15 years.
“But when this government came on board one of the things it did was to reverse this trend by coming up with economic, growth and recovery plan,” he said.
He said that so far, the plan was successfully reversing the trend where Nigerians import virtually everything.
Adebayo said that if this plan was sustained, the government would revive the economy to eventually bring about growth in the country.
“Government hopes to revive the economy by seven per cent and it is also one of the means to take the country out of recession.
“Our proposal is to dialogue and sensitise ourselves on promotion of made in Nigeria products,” he said.
He said that when we promote made in Nigeria products, it would save our foreign exchange.
Mr Udo Ekpenyong, the State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy, said that President Mohammadu Buhari’s administration had encouraged businesses to thrive.
Ekpenyong, represented by Mr Godwin Inyeng, Senior Special Assistant to the Commissioner, expressed optimism that the recession would be over before the end of year 2017.
He said that Nigeria needed proper legislative framework to protect local producers and encouragement through patronage in the coming years.
Inyeng said the law, when put in place would attract a lot of of benefits to the Nigerian economy including better employment opportunities and poverty alleviation.
He said that the law would also offer the much needed protection for local industries.