By Teddy Nwanunobi
Abuja (Sundiata Post) — Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, on Monday, described as for Nigerian leaders to canvass for patronage of locally produced goods with their followers, while they purchase foreign goods.
Ikpeazu, who spoke at opening day of the 4th Edition Made-in-Aba Trade Fair, therefore, charged the Nigerian leaders to put to practice their advocacy for Made-in-Nigeria goods.
He emphasised that this is the best way to improve the economy.
Buying made in Nigeria goods, he said, will help conserve the nation’s foreign reserve, and strengthen the naira against the dollar, thereby making the country financially healthy and self-dependent.
He added that this will not only add value to the Nigerian economy, but also boost the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which is required to be healthy at all times for smooth and economic progression.
Nigeria currently occupies 169th position on the World Bank Ease of Doing Business Index out of 189 economies.
Analysts say buying made in Nigeria goods will help to boost domestic production, thereby encouraging technology transfer and also improve Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings.
In his remarks, Senate President, Abubakar Bukola Saraki, assured that the National Assembly will do everything within its powers to ensure that domestic manufacturers and service providers have the enabling environment to thrive.
According to him, the Public Procurement Law already amended by the Senate would ensure that Nigerian manufacturers benefit from the over N2 trillion in government procurement contracts.
He said the initiative will drive the nation towards the path of economic sustainability and prosperity.
He was represented by the Deputy Majority Senate Leader, Bala Ibn Na’Allah.
“This is precisely what we have done. With the amendment of the Public Procurement Act, which has passed final reading in the Senate, and is making its way through the House of Representatives.
“We are in the process of making it easier for manufacturers and entrepreneurs around the country to benefit from the over N2 trillion in government procurement contracts.
“Additionally, my Office, has launched the Made in Nigeria Challenge, which is aimed at showcasing the innovative ideas of Nigerian businesses.
“Through this challenge, which is still ongoing, we hope to identify goods, services and other products that can be matched with investors and government agencies, to further the plight of our homegrown businessmen and women,” he said.
On his part, the Director-General of the Small and Medium Scale Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Dikko Radda, commended the initiator of the programme and senator representing Abia South in the National Assembly, Enyinnaya Harcourt Abaribe.