The Federal Government on Monday urged Nigerians to patronise `Made-in-Nigeria products’ to strengthen the economy and aid national development.
Mr Udoma Udo Udoma, Minister of Budget and National Planning, made the appeal at the inauguration of the Joint Planning Committee (JPC) for the 22nd Nigerian Economic Summit (NES22) in Abuja.
Udoma said that the Federal Government and the National Economic Summit Group decided on the theme, “ Made in Nigeria’’ for the NES22 in order to ensure this.
He said, “ the summit would be used to galvanise support from stakeholders on the need to commit to the structural and fiscal challenges required to strengthen the Nigerian economy.
“ It starts with changing our orientation in consumption pattern by shifting our mindset and preference for anything imported and foreign made to patronising made in Nigeria products. “
This year’s summit is the perfect opportunity to engage in a national discussion on how to make made in Nigeria Products better.
“It is our expectation that the NES22 will serve as strong platform to sharpen the focus of the conversation and extract tangible commitments and outcomes from the summiteers.”
The minister said that in as much as Nigerians were encouraged to patronise locally made products, manufacturers should also endeavour in technologies required to upscale quality for our products.
He said the key thrust for the NES22 was to facilitate stakeholders’ discussion and agreement on the practical issues, opportunities, policies and regulations needed to enhance our local products.
“It should also work out the strategy to achieve self-sufficiency and value-addition capacities in several products in manufacturing and services in the shortest possible time,” the minister said.
Udoma said the committee would work under the joint coordination of the public sector represented by Dr Tunde Lawal of the ministry and the private sector represented by Dr Biodun Adedipe of the NESG.
He said that other members of the committee would be drawn from various sectors of the economy, including the State Governors’ Forum.
Udoma therefore urged the committee to take appropriate steps that would further deepen public and private sector participation at the summit to ensure achievement of the expected goals.
Mr Asue Ighodalo, Vice Chairman, Board of Directors of NESG, commended Udoma and the Minister of State, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, for their commitment to the NES.
He said, “ the summit has become a credible platform for interrogating and understanding our national economic policy direction and economic growth strategies with the view to addressing the challenges.”
Ighodalo expressed optimism that the NES 22 would yield more positive outcomes.
He said, “ following the NES21 where tough choice on achieving competitiveness, inclusive growth and sustainability were examined, we agreed that NES22 will be themed Made-in-Nigeria”.
“ This is in bid to build on these tough choices in consideration of the global commodity price shock that our nation has not recovered from.
“ It is important to note that we are not under any illusions as to the inherent challenges of achieving ` Made-in-Nigeria’.
“ We are of the firm belief that there is no better time than now to have a coherent conversation on how to take Nigeria beyond oil reach, intelligent, economically and socially impactful decisions”, he said.
Ighadalo said that all that was required was due ownership at the highest levels of the public and private sectors and clear commitment of all actors and stakeholders to the endeavour.