A vote for made-in-Nigeria goods

Sir: It is encouraging to note that the Federal Government is currently working on plans to promote the production and consumption of local products.

Undoubtedly, this is a sensible thing to do. Besides providing solution to the unemployment problem in the country, encouraging the production and consumption of local products, it could also usher us into the path of the much-desired economic prosperity. This is the secret behind the rising profiles of the now prosperous Asian tigers. Our ability to achieve similar feat will depend on our capacity to harness human and material resources towards the promotion of made-in-Nigeria goods that can compete in both local and international markets. Sustainable development that would guarantee jobs, vary the economy, advance the standard of living as well as security of lives and property depends on the existence of a robust economic development agenda that encourages production and sustenance of local goods.

For local industries and goods to enjoy sufficient patronage from consumers, there is need for the National Assembly to come up with a local patronage bill that would ensure that made-in-Nigeria goods and local producers are protected. It is a thing of serious concern that the production capacity of the local industries can neither suit local consumption nor export. A situation where Nigerians depend on imported goods for all manner of items is, to say the least, appalling. The idea of patronising made-in-Nigeria goods should not be regarded as a parochial scheme. Rather, it should be viewed as a call for nationwide partnership to develop the kind of collective commerce pattern that would have positive bearing on national development.

There is a need for overhaul of our importation policy to discourage items that can be locally manufactured, as the leather exhibition has proved.

We need to embrace attitudinal, structural, and cultural change that would enable major stakeholders to modify their outlook towards made-in-Nigeria goods.

Certainly, made-in-Nigeria goods will boost the nation’s manufacturing sector and by extension create more jobs. It is through this that indigenous firms can take advantage of bigger markets at regional, continental and global levels. It is important for the country to appreciate its fundamental dynamics by making policies that will ensure sustainable economic development. Advocating and supporting made-in-Nigeria goods is a sure way to turn around our dwindling economic fortune.

Nigerians should encourage indigenous entrepreneurs by patronising locally produced goods and services. It is only in doing this that we could develop and transform local industries. There is no country that has managed to transform itself without adequate industrial growth or wholesome dependence on imported goods. We need to empower local industries.

• Tayo Ogunbiyi,
Ikeja, Lagos

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