The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said the federal government would institutionalise the patronage of locally-made products among its Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
He disclosed this in Abuja yesterday at the national media launch of the â€œBuy Made-in-Nigeriaâ€ campaign.
â€œThe federal government is not just paying lip service to this buy Made-in-Nigeria. We have taken concrete steps to actualize it. It is true that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) at one of its meetings resolved that the Bureau of Public Procurement Act must be amended in a manner that will give more emphasis and advantage to made in Nigeria products.
â€˜â€™However, we have also realised that less than 30 per cent of government spending ever gets to the level of Bureau for Public Procurement, which means that we must start a â€˜root and branchâ€™ reform. This campaign must go down to the level of permanent secretaries and ministerial approvals so that we can actually be able to encourage Nigerians, because as long as we do not encourage the buying of Made-in-Nigeria products, what we are going to do is that we are going to continue exporting jobs to other countries and importing unemployment,â€ he said.
Mohammed stressed that the youths cannot be gainfully employed across the country unless Nigerians change their consumption pattern by patronising Made-in-Nigeria products in order to give a boost to the local economy.
He said the government was taking advantage of all the digital platforms on the Internet to connect with the youths and convince them to take ownership of the buy Made-in-Nigeria Campaign, in order to secure their future.
The minister said government was committed to encouraging local manufacturers by enhancing the ease of doing business in Nigeria.
He said the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) clinic taking place across the country was a deliberate strategy to make available all the stakeholders involved in MSMEs operations, with a view to easing all the bureaucratic bottlenecks to improve the performance of MSMEs.
In his remarks, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, harped on the need to create a conducive environment for local manufacturers to thrive.
â€œItâ€™s one thing to say buy Made-in-Nigeria, itâ€™s another thing to make it easy for them to make things in Nigeria and to reduce the cost of making things in Nigeria. Consumers are rational and we are not necessarily forcing them. Itâ€™s a campaign so it means that one of the most important responsibilities we have as a people and as a government is to reduce the cost of doing business; to make the cost of producing things here cheaper and more affordable,â€ Enelamahl said.