The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has urged Nigerians to join the government in championing the campaign for patronage of Made-in-Nigeria goods to improve productivity in the non-oil sector, diversify the economy and create employment.
Speaking at a recent lecture entitled: “Productivity for Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Employment”, to mark the 16th National Productivity Day Celebration in Abuja, the minister said increased patronage of Made-in-Nigeria goods would also lessen the dependency on importation and lead to the strengthening of the naira.
The preference for foreign goods over domestic ones, Fayemi said, are product of a misplaced priority, stressing that the citizens must align themselves with government to tackle what he described as “defective rhetoric” against Made-in-Nigeria goods and ensure a paradigm shift in that regard.
He, however, challenged local manufacturers and entrepreneurs to take the issue of quality assurance more seriously and continuously improve their products to give the citizens value for their money whenever they patronise local goods.
Noting that societal advancement and productivity had always depended on the entrepreneurial spirit of the citizens, Fayemi challenged authorities of institutions of higher learning in the country to inculcate entrepreneurial and productive spirits in the youths, through carefully designed curricula that would increase their productive capacity.
He also called on employers of labour to establish systems that accommodate on-the-job training programmes and internships to complement government’s educational policies. This, according to him, would provide necessary skills acquisition and entrepreneurial trainings for the youths in addition to their certificates.
“The rationale behind this campaign has been an integral focus of numerous government policies geared towards import substitution. There is no doubt that increased patronage of Made-in-Nigeria goods will lessen the dependency on importation, and lead to the strengthening of our Naira.
“Government’s travails will continue to be robust and all-inclusive in ensuring continuous productivity for sustainable entrepreneurship and employment on one hand. On the other hand, citizens must complement government’s efforts by embracing the requisite attitudinal change, whereby we all begin to look inwards and increase our patronage of Made-in-Nigeria goods”, Fayemi added.
The minister however reiterated government’s commitment to assist the entrepreneurs overcome some of their challenges, including poor power supply, access to finance and supporting infrastructure, assuring that the issues.3 were being tackled comprehensively with a view to creating enabling environment for productivity.
Government, according to him, was also addressing the country’s low ranking in the “Ease-of-Doing-Business” ranking, “in order to ensure our jurisdiction is more attractive to foreign investors.”
The event had in attendance the Acting President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo; Minister of FCT, Mohammed Bello; Minister of State for National Planning, Hajia Zainab Ahmed; Head of the Federal Civil Service, Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita and the Host, Dr Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment.