Chijioke Ekechukwu, an economist has called for import restriction on goods and items that can be locally manufactured in order to protect local manufacturers.
Ekechukwu, a former Director-General, Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry, gave the advice in an interview with the newsmen on Monday in Abuja.
He commended the Federal Government for the Executive Order which included the promotion of Made in Nigeria Goods.
“The mind set of Nigerian is now tailored toward the patronage of locally made goods.
“It will be pertinent therefore for government to patronise locally made goods in governance and in their personal lives.
“This will demonstrate commitment and seriousness in the drive for local patronage,’’ Mr Ekechukwu said.
He said that loans should be given to operators of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, MSMEs, single digit rate to enable them to produce competitively.
Mr Ekechukwu also stressed the need for funds to be made readily available to manufacturers and with affordable and simple conditions.
He advised that training of entrepreneurs and MSMEs operators should be continuous for purposes of skills acquisition and development.
According to Mr Ekechukwu, the importance of power in the manufacturing sector cannot be over emphasised.
“These and many more measures will encourage the patronage of Made in Nigeria products,’’ he said.
NAN reports that the Federal Government had in 2017, began the campaign on made-in-Nigeria goods, a move designed to encourage Nigerians to patronise locally-produced goods and services.
This is part of measures being adopted by the government to conserve foreign exchange, stimulate economic growth and create jobs.
Recently, the Acting President Yemi Osinbajo reaffirmed the Federal Government’s determination to drive the Nigerian economy with locally manufactured products.
According to him, the present economic realities indicate that Nigeria’s continued dependence on importation is not sustainable.
“As the president said in his 2017 budget speech, we must grow what we eat and we must use what we make, we must patronise made-in-Nigeria products to encourage local production,” Mr Osinbajo said.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, had also reiterated that the Federal Government would diversify the nation’s economy through local production of goods and services.
He said the promotion of Made-in-Nigeria goods was central to Nigeria’s industrial development, explaining that there would soon be a review of the Bureau of Public Procurement, BPP, Act to promote local goods and services.
Mohammed said: “boosting industrial development, especially through the local production of goods and services is a major plank of this policy.
“Patronising Made-in-Nigeria goods and services is also key to the success of the policy,’’ Mr Mohammed said.