Laleye Dipo in Minna
Nigeria can turn around her economy in six months if “we can reduce our taste for foreign goods” the Director General, Niger state Chamber of Commerce Industries Mines and Agriculture, Alhaji Adamu Salihu has said.
Salihu, who made the remark in Minna on Monday, said at the moment the country is expending a lot of foreign exchange on goods that have the same quality with those that are made in Nigeria thereby depleting the nationâ€™s foreign reserve.
“Some parents even send their children to neighbouring Benin republic to read English, a course that is offered in all Nigerian universities.
“There is so much pressure on the foreign exchange and when these children come back to Nigeria, they are not better than those that studied in the country.
“If there is pressure on the foreign currency, it always has adverse effect on our reserves; when our external reserve is low, our rating will be low internationally”.
Salihu also said that manufacturers should be made to source their raw materials locally, noting that it would create employment and also generate incomes for the government and the factories.
According to him, the economic gains already recorded by the country was mainly from the agricultural sector, stressing that with the expected bumper harvest this farming season, prices of food items would also drop.
He commended the Niger state government for creating the enabling environment for investors especially with construction of roads across the state, which he argued has contributed to the ease of doing business in the state.
Adamu Salihu however pleaded with the federal government to prevail on the contractor handling the dualisation of the Minna- Suleja road to facilitate faster movements of goods and services between the state and the federal capital territory.
This, he said, will further open up the state to investors.