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Senate canvasses support for manufacturers

By Segun Olaniyi, Abuja   |   19 October 2016   |   1:59 am
President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki PHOTO: TWITTER/BUKOLA SARAKI

President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki PHOTO: TWITTER/BUKOLA SARAKI

Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and a Senator representing Abia South, Enyinnaya Abaribe, have advised the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) to join efforts with the upper legislative chamber and other institutions to get Nigerian manufacturers to produce quality goods.

Speaking on the just-concluded NESG Summit, which followed the Senate’s plans to promote Made in Nigeria goods, Saraki and Abaribe said the economic recession in the country has created an atmosphere that will allow local manufacturers to thrive and enjoy patronage.

“However, we must discourage a situation where the market is flooded with sub-standard goods. People will only part with their hard-earned, scarce money when they have quality goods to purchase. Also, purchasing of goods and constant decongestion of the warehouse are needed to encourage more production and stimulate the economy. That is where a group like the NESG can come in.

“I commend the NESG for their choice of theme at the last summit and urge them to discuss how to improve on quality and packaging of locally produced goods, helping local producers get into foreign markets and sourcing start-up capitals for small and medium scale entrepreneurs at rock-bottom interest rates,” Saraki stated.

Saraki in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, in Abuja, noted that the choice of the theme put the private sector group on the same page with the Senate which has since last year identified the need to promote local manufacturers and service providers as champions of reviving the national economy.

The Senate President stated that the law making institution in its 20-point recommendations on how to get the nation out of the present recession mentioned that

“we must reduce our imports tremendously and increase our exports to earn more dollars and the best way to do that is for us to patronise locally made goods.

“We have therefore amended the Public Procurement Act to ensure that all government agencies compulsorily patronise local manufacturers and service producers in all their procurement. They can only resort to foreign options when there is no local alternative. With this new law, a huge portion of the national budget will go into the pockets of our people and generate employment, improve our GDP and help us to be self-sufficient.

“Other amendments in the Procurement Act reduces the period of award of contract, make the procurement process more transparent and increased mobilisation fee up to 25 per cent, all in a bid to help our people just as it is being done in other countries.

Also commenting on the summit, Chairman, Senate Committee on Power, Steel Development & Metallurgy, Senator Abaribe, noted that the NESG, by virtue of its industry reach and expertise, is better placed to lead the drive towards manufacturing of quality products that can compete favorably in both local and international market.

“I believe the expertise of the NESG is needed at this time to support the efforts of government aimed at ensuring that products of international standards are produced here in Nigeria. Our manufacturers need all the assistance they can get to turn things around in terms of better quality of locally manufactured goods,” he said.

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