(Sundiata Post) – The Federal Government may direct its Ministries, Departments and Agencies to purchase locally made products even at prices up to 35 per cent higher than foreign products.
This followed a proposal sent to the Federal Government by the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria asking it to establish price preferential margins recognising that Nigerian-made products could cost higher because of the peculiarities of the nation’s economy.
In a keynote address delivered at the Nigerian Economic Summit in Abuja on Tuesday, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said the proposal by MAN was reasonable, adding that the Federal Government was considering it.
Osinbajo stated, “An Executive Order promoting local content in government procurement has been issued and is intended to give preference to Nigerian small businesses in specific sectors.
“One of the critical things that the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria has proposed to us in support of the local content initiative is what they described as ‘margins of preference’ for local content goods.
“In other words, what they are saying is that if you prefer locally made goods, then you must take care of the problems that local goods have; in other words, they are usually more expensive than the imported goods, so you have to take care of that by what they call ‘margins of preference.’
“So, we are looking at that proposal and we are looking at the percentage for procurement purposes. But we do agree with the principle that if we are going to promote local content goods, then we must find ways of preferring them to imported ones and we think that the margins of preference is a sensible way to do so.”