By Martins Ifijeh
Some members of theÂ National Assembly haveÂ stated that the Made-in-Nigeria Bill currently under deliberation in theSenateÂ will help the countryâ€™s local industries and manufacturers to grow their businesses and improve the economy.
They said the Bill would, among other things, mean that the government will patroniseÂ Made-in-Nigeria products, rather than materials or equipment made outside the country.
Stating this, during the Senate Committee on Industryâ€™s oversight function to the IO Furniture in Lagos recently, theÂ lawmakersÂ called on Nigerians to patronise locally made goods.
The Chairman of theÂ Committee, Senator Sam Egwu, said:Â â€œGovernment is the greatest spender of funds, so when that Bill becomes an Act, everything, including furniture made in Nigeria will be bought by government, except such items are not made anywhere in the country.â€
He commended the Managing Director, IO Furniture, Mrs. Munira Shonibare for growing her businessÂ which focuses on local production and urgedÂ her to bring her expertise to bear when the National Assembly eventually call for public hearing of the Bill.
Shonibare, who welcomed the committee to the corporate office of IO Furniture, said the policy was a step in the right direction, as this would support made in Nigeria industries, and by extension the economy.
She called on the managers of theÂ Nigerian economy to bring down interest rate to drive Nigeriaâ€™s quest for industrialisation, noting that the furniture sector has the ability to transform the fortunes of the nationÂ if given the necessary support.
â€œThe already burdened sector is faced with myriads of challenges and it lacks the manpower skills required to operate some of the machineries used in most industries in the country, maintaining that there is an urgent need to bridge the dearth of skills gap.
“The present administration should implement policies that would protect local industries from unfair competition while also signing into law, a policy to boost patronage of made-in-Nigeria goods.
â€œWe also need patronage, because it is one thing to set up industries and it is another to get our own people to patronise usâ€, she added.