By Emmanuella Anokam
Abuja, Dec. 8, 2020 The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment said it had adopted different strategies that would drive its campaign on ‘Patronage of Made-in-Nigeria’ initiative, aimed at shifting consumer’s taste for foreign goods to locally produced ones.
Mr Suleiman Audu, Director, Commodities and Export Department of the ministry, said this on Tuesday in Abuja at the Physical/Virtual technical session of the 12th National Council on Industry, Trade and Investment.
Audu spoke on “Sustaining the Made-in-Nigeria Campaign through the Revitalisation of the Industry, Trade and Investment Sub-sectors in Nigeria in Post-COVID-19 Pandemic Era”.
In order to reduce reliance on imported consumer goods, Audu said the ministry, in 2009 initiated a Council Memo on the need for the Federal Executive Council (FEC) to give backing to the strategies.
He highlighted the strategies to include a national press launch, major stakeholders’ meeting, advocacy and national campaign on Patronage of Made-in-Nigeria products and services in some states.
To drive the strategies, there was deployment and utilisation of social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and WhatsApp, to promote patronage of locally produced goods and services.
The director recalled that the ministry also also engaged the Ministry of Interior to ensure that uniforms and other requirements for the paramilitary services were sourced locally, including military hospitals and schools, among others, in addition to ensuring that 40 per cent of procurement by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) were locally sourced as well.
According to him, in 2017, when the need for the re-launch of the initiative arose, a joint memo by the ministry and the Ministry of Information and Culture was made to FEC and was approved, as a result of the compelling need to grow the economy, provide jobs, revive local industries and create wealth for Nigerians.
Audu noted that although Nigeria had been adjudged to be among countries that were naturally endowed with minerals and human resources, these had proved insufficient to industrialise the country because the resources had not been tied to human capital development as was done by developed nations..
He said countries such as the U.S used a similar strategy, citing the ‘Buy American’ Act passed in 1933 by Congress and signed by President Hoover on his last full day in office on March 3, 1933 as requiring the U. S. government to prefer American made products, including third parties that utilised federal funds.
“Over the years Nigeria has continued to rely on importation of products from other countries, in spite of abundant natural resources and huge population.
“Consequently Nigeria’s foreign exchange is continuously depleted, while also shrinking domestic economic activities, resulting in job losses and its negative implications.
“The danger of continuous reliance on importation is that it reduces and sometimes stagnates domestic economic activities, particularly in those sectors where imports are high,” he said.
The director, however, said patronising Made-in-Nigeria goods and services would, among other things, engender robust domestic economic activities that would spur productivity and increase non-oil exports.
Naija247news reports that the three-day Council meeting has as its theme “Revitalisation of the Industry, Trade and Investment Sector in Nigeria in the Post-COVID-19 pandemic era”.