Made-in-Nigeria products, key to diversifying economy, says President
• Osinbajo hopeful of recovery from recession
• Gowon urges youths to be nation builders
President Muhammadu Buhari has said that the promotion of Made-in-Nigeria products lies at the heart of his government’s efforts to lead the country out of troubled times and lay a firm foundation for the future.
He said this while declaring open the 22nd Nigerian Economic Summit in Abuja yesterday.
“As I have said in the past, we need to diversify the economy so that we would never again have to rely on one commodity to survive as a country, so that we can produce the food we eat, make our own textile, produce most of the things we use and create the right environment for our young people to be able to benefit and create jobs through technology,” he said.
Buhari maintained that this has been the commitment of his administration. “I have remained focused on it each day since the assumption of this administration. There is clearly no better way to achieve this without building our economic foundation on made-in-Nigeria goods and services.
“Fortunately, we have champions of made-in-Nigeria that had defied the odds over the years to produce locally and contribute to our economy. My greatest desire is that Nigeria moves from import dependence to self-sufficiency in local production and become an export-led economy in goods and service. I strongly believe that this summit will bring all stakeholders on board to stay on that course,” he said.
The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udoma, said government has acknowledged the private sector as the anchor of the country’s economic growth. He noted that government would continue to encourage it to grow in a competitive environment.
The Chairman, Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG) Board Committee, Dr. Adedoyin Salami said: “if the made-in-Nigeria agenda must succeed, it should not be the challenge of the Federal Government alone. All the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital territory (FCT) must have a role to play,” he said.
Salami, who lamented that the country’s economic indices were far from ideal, said it was the worst case scenario of stagflation, where there is stagnant growth, coupled with rising costs.
“The country’s economic situation is worse than stagflation. What we have is an economy that is shrinking in size. So far, this year it has shrunk by about 1.5 per cent, with combination of stagnant growth and rising costs,” he noted.
Salami said the growth rate began slowing down since 2013 before contracting into the recent recession. He said the country should see the situation as an opportunity to revitalise the economy to grow again.
At another forum, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has expressed optimism that God would guide Nigeria to full economic recovery and restoration.
Speaking at the 2016 national open day of the Nigeria Fellowship of Evangelical Students (NIFES) in Abuja, Osinbajo said for Nigeria to achieve this, she needs men and women of all faiths and tribes firmly committed to high values of integrity, hard work, justice and love of country.