January 26, 2023

Imported goods killing local production, says Presidency

By Luminous Jannamike, Abuja

THE Special Adviser on Media to the President, Femi Adesina, has urged consumers to patronise locally produced goods, especially in the agricultural sector.

According to him, more citizens will be financially empowered when locally manufactured goods are patronised.

He said this at a one-day seminar/exhibition organised by Zakclair Investment Ltd with jointly supported by the Central Bank of Nigeria and Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board in Abuja on Thursday.

The theme of the event is ‘Re-orientation towards Ensuring Preference and Consumption of Domestic Agro-Allied Products’.

Adesina explained that no nation can truly develop its production capacity when its economy is based on imported products.

Represented by Tolu Ogunlesi, the Special Assistant to the President on New Media, Adesina observed that most developed nations of the world are those whose economies are based on local production of goods.

He also said that the unbridled importation of products is weighing heavily on the country’s foreign exchange reserve.

According to him, “We must also be willing to innovate with our local products in ways that can get us a wider audience. Instead of expending scarce resources importing goods and services, we can channel them to creating jobs for people. We need to believe more in the value of what is indigenous to us, as a people.

“When we consume locally made products, there will be less pressure on our foreign exchange. In the same breath, the value addition that happens locally means jobs. The economic value of consuming locally made by goods is in all the jobs that will be created.

“I think that with the kind of market that we have in Nigeria, 200 million people, you can see there’s a lot that we can do with domestic products.”

Delivering the keynote address, the Executive Secretary of Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria (ARCN), Prof. Garba Sharabutu, urged stakeholders to stop paying lip-service to the efforts to drive the consumption of made-in-Nigeria products, saying “we need to take it from words to action.”

Earlier, the CEO of Zakclair Investment Ltd, Adelabu Abdulrazak, explained that with the country’s ailing economy, there is the need to direct attention to preference and consumption of locally-made products.

“Consequently, we believe there is a need for a discourse in this aspect of our national life with the aim to infuse patriotism, encourage policies that tackle this life-style, reorientate our citizens and massively stimulate the growth of our economy,” he stressed.