By Raji Rasak
Lagos – The Federal Government on Monday solicited the support of private media for the success of its Made-in-Nigeria goods and services campaign.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, made the plea at a two-day National Stakeholders Forum/Flag-off of the Made-in-Nigeria Campaign for the South-West in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that theme of the forum and campaign was entitled, “Buy Made-in-Nigeria Products and Services for Industrialisation and Job Creation”.
Mohammed said that all hands should be on deck to achieve the success of the campaign.
“So far, I can say the campaign to encourage Nigerians to patronise Made-in-Nigeria goods and services has been on the upswing.
“Since the launch of the media campaign, there have been sustained jingles on national radio and television encouraging the patronage of locally-made products.
“The concept of the campaign followed the Executive Order signed by the then Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, to encourage the patronage of locally-made products as a deliberate policy to conserve foreign exchange.
“It is also to boost business for Nigerian companies so that they can employ more people and earn revenue.
“This campaign is being driven by the Federal Ministries of Industry, Trade and Investment as well as Information and Culture,” the minister said.
Mohammed said that the diversification of the nation’s economy away from oil boosting industrial development through local production of goods and services was very important to the present administration.
“Made-in-Nigeria goods and services is also key to the success of the policy, this is why we are passionate about the Made-in-Nigeria Campaign.
“The Federal Government is institutionalising the patronage of Made-in-Nigeria products by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) through the review of the Bureau of Public Procurement Act.
“This is to make it mandatory for the MDAs to patronise local products with a view to diversifying the economy, creating jobs and generating wealth,” he said.
The minister advised local manufacturers to take advantage of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to market their products.
According to him, the whole world is a stage for any manufacturer who leverage on today’s ICT to market their products.
In her remarks, the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Hajiya Aisha Abubakar, said that Nigeria was blessed with abundant human and natural resources.
Abubakar said that these resources only make meaning when they were effectively and efficiently employed to serve the population.
“This initiative is in line with the fundamental objective of diversifying the economy from over dependence on oil exports, increasing local industrial capacity and substantially reducing imports of goods and services.
“This inward looking initiative is expected to boost the Nigerian economy by reviving the local industries to produce good quality products of international standards that are available and affordable.
“This will lead to generation of massive employment, boost our culture and tourism sector, create wealth, reduce poverty and increase foreign exchange earnings capacity of the country.
“The promotion of Made-in-Nigeria products and services will also stimulate growth and promote innovation in our MSMEs and also boost financial inclusion and overall security of the country.
“These are two key elements essential for sustained economic prosperity and development,” Abubakar said.
Declaring the campaign open, Gov. Akinwumi Ambode of Lagos State, said that the time has come for Nigerians to jointly take responsibility for the development and growth of the nation’s economy.
Ambode said, “We should refocus our attention to the abundant resources available in agriculture, solid minerals and viable sectors.’’
The governor said that the current economic indices were pointing to the unsustainability of the Nigerians unchecked taste for imported goods.
“We must, as a matter of necessity, conserve our foreign exchange, strengthen the value of our local currency and create job opportunities for our people by making a choice to consume what we produce and produce what we consume.
“This is the sure path to sustainable economic growth and development.
“The Lagos State Government, recognising the leading role the state must play in view of its industrial and commercial status, has keyed into this campaign,” he said. (NAN)