Ohanaeze Extols Soludo on Use of Locally Manufactured Goods

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Ahamefula Ogbu

The apex Igbo cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide has extolled the stance of Anambra State governor-elect, Professor Charles Soludo, on what it described as far-reaching policy statement among which is that Innoson vehicle would be his official car while in office.

Ohanaeze in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Chiedozie Alex Ogbonnia, said it was inexcusable that after proven ability to produce and market good quality vehicles which other countries were using, governments were yet to take such far reaching decisions on adopting the brand as its official vehicle in line with using what we produce.

“It is therefore morally reprehensible and indeed the worst form of imperialism for Nigerian governments at all levels to prefer and patronise foreign companies as against the locally manufactured goods. For instance, while other African countries patronise IVM, the Nigerian lawmakers in 2019, placed an order for Japanese cars valued over N5.5 billion. On the other hand, the aggregate expenditure on foreign cars by all the levels of Nigerian government is over 200 billion per annum.

“Ohanaeze Ndigbo posits on a firm wicket that when the volume of import into a country far exceed its exports, the balance of trade is distorted and the value of its currency severely threatened. The self-induced imperialism and mass poverty by the Nigerian leadership takes various forms: most people in government own buildings in the USA, UK, Germany, France, etc, and their children attend schools in foreign countries; the fuel for cars, gas for bigger machines, including kerosene; healthcare, etc are sourced from foreign countries. In fact, almost everything which can be sourced within is imported without corresponding effort for meaningful exports. This obnoxious self-inflicted injury has already thrown Nigeria into the poverty capital of the world and fragile states index status; and counting,” it lamented.

Ohanaeze said it had in October 2019, urged President Muhammadu Buhari and other state governments to patronise locally manufactured goods and described as heartwarming that Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, in one day, procured 100 Innoson Hilux vans for security operatives in Enugu State.

“A visit to Ebonyi State also shows that the traditional rulers of the state use the IVM brand, courtesy of Governor Dave Umahi. The Imo State government, led by Senator Hope Uzodimma is not left out in promoting the IVM, with over 100 vans and several trucks; and more. Elementary economics informs that the more we promote our locally manufactured goods, the more the employment opportunities for our teeming population and the better the indices of economic growth.”

The statement said the expectations of the group appear to being met early as its President General, Professor George Obiozor had while congratulating Soludo, said, “the age-long strategic place of Anambra State in Igbo land and hopes that his sterling pedigree will add extra-ordinary value to social economics of the state and the entire Igbo land.

“Soludo, has by the robust steps he has taken so far, proved beyond doubt that he is an experienced development economist and a scholar of world renown. Professor Chinua Achebe had long lamented that the problem of Nigeria is leadership. The implication of the Achebe lodestar is that if President Muhammadu Buhari, 36 state governors, National Assembly members, Ministers, etc adopt the Soludo Model by patronising the local goods and services including medicare, schools, cars, foods, etc, the regrettable tailspin of Nigerian economy, perhaps, may be reversed. Evidently, Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson in Why Nations Fail had Nigeria in mind when they stated that poor countries are poor, because the authorities make choices that create poverty.”