The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Boss Mustapha, has applauded President Muhammadu Buhari for the efforts of his administration to encourage local entrepreneurs through technological initiatives.
Mr Mustapha made the observation at the opening ceremony of the exhibition of made-in-Nigeria products and cultural display in Abuja on Tuesday.
He said the initiative had harnessed the country’s potentiality economically.
“We are gathered here today to witness the culmination of a series of activities that have been taking place behind the scenes to complement the efforts of the Federal Government at ensuring that we produce what we eat and eat what we produce.
“In this context, we are to produce what we use and use what we produce,” he said.
The SGF described the initiative as a landmark event in the annals of the country’s history, adding that the event was aimed at showcasing “what we are capable of producing with our own local materials and expertise.’’
Mr Mustapha said the initiative could also serve as a reminder of the beauty and strength in the nation’s diversity exemplified by the cultural troupes from various parts of Nigeria.
According to him, Nigeria as a country is blessed with abundant human and material resources, and it remains one of the richest countries in the world in terms of natural resources.
“And also with a huge oil and gas resources, untapped solid minerals and large uncultivated arable land.
“Nigeria is Africa’s largest economy and twenty-fifth globally with a GDP of 410 billion dollars, we need to harness all our potential and convert them to reality in order to not only move the nation up in economic advancement but most importantly, to provide jobs for our ever growing population.
“Like most developing countries of the world, Nigeria’s period of sustained economic growth has been dependent on a raw material export oriented economy.
“And no meaningful industrial development can take place if we do not convert our raw materials to finished products to gain higher values,” SGF said.
Mustapha placed emphasis on the manufacturing sector, which according to him, remained a key determinant of economic development and inter- phase with the needs of the country to determine the extent of national industrial growth.
“The history of industrial development and manufacturing in Nigeria has been truncated mainly due to our over reliance on oil.”
He said that the President’s economic diversification strategy would rely heavily on the extent to which “we harness our local resources to create globally competitive products’’.
According to Mustapa, it is for this reason that the current administration has put in place a good number of policies and programmes that will encourage local manufacturers and give them confidence in producing for a global market.