Emmanuel Ugwu, Umuahia
Efforts aimed at diversifying Nigeria’s economy would yield good results with patronage of made in Aba products instead of spending scarce foreign exchange on goods that have local alternatives, Senator Theodore Orji has said.
To this end, the Senator who represents Abia Central in the National Assembly urged ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) as well as security agencies to start looking inwards and patronise locally produced goods.
Orji, who was a former governor of Abia state, made the call when he received a delegation of Leather and Allied Products Manufacturers Association of Abia State (LEAPMAAS) led by the senior special assistant to the governor on public communications, Mr. Sam Hart.
According to a press release issued by the senior media adviser to the Aba Central Senator, Orji, was desirous of contributing to efforts to re-position Aba to play a major in enhancing the nation’s economy by encouraging Nigerians to cultivate the habit of appreciating and patronizing locally made products.
Aba, the commercial nerve centre of Abia state is reputed for making of high quality shoes, bags, belts and other leather products as well as ‘ready made’ cloths.
Orji therefore stated that when MDAs and security agencies patronise made in Aba products entrepreneurship and excellence would be encouraged in Enyimba city thereby empowering local producers, create jobs for youths and save the scarce foreign exchange.
The Abia Central Senator, who delights in dressing in made in Aba products, urged all MDAs to emulate the Nigerian Army , which recently placed an order for 50,000 pairs of made in Aba boots.
In his remarks, Hart promised that Governor Okezie Ikpeazu was deeply involved in promoting made in Aba products and ensuring that the products are made to international standard.
Meanwhile, the second phase of Senator Orji’s scholarship scheme is scheduled to kickoff next month with a target of producing 240 graduates from Abia Central in various fields. The scheme which kicked off last year with 60 beneficiaries drawn from the six local governments that make up Abia Central targets both intelligent and indigent undergraduates.