Lawmakers Seek Passage of Made-in-Nigeria Bill  

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By Martins Ifijeh

Some members of the National Assembly have stated that the Made-in-Nigeria Bill currently under deliberation in theSenate will help the country’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 patronise Made-in-Nigeria products, rather than materials or equipment made outside the country.

Stating this, during the Senate Committee on Industry’s oversight function to the IO Furniture in Lagos recently, the lawmakers called on Nigerians to patronise locally made goods.

The Chairman of the Committee, Senator Sam Egwu, said: “Government 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.”

He commended the Managing Director, IO Furniture, Mrs. Munira Shonibare for growing her business which focuses on local production and urged 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 the Nigerian economy to bring down interest rate to drive Nigeria’s quest for industrialisation, noting that the furniture sector has the ability to transform the fortunes of the nation if given the necessary support.

“The 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.

“We also need patronage, because it is one thing to set up industries and it is another to get our own people to patronise us”, she added.