Pascal Emeka, Abuja
The need to strongly market and patronize Made-in-Nigeria goods will be the main focus of the 22nd edition of the Nigerian Economic Summit scheduled for October this year, in Abuja.
Budget and National Planning Minister, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, who disclosed this Monday while inaugurating the Joint Planning Committee (JPC) for the 22 Nigerian Economic Summit, in Abuja, said the theme for this year’s Summit will be “Made-in-Nigeria.”
Senator Udoma said the Summit will be used to galvanise support from stakeholders on the need to commit to the structural and fiscal changes required to strengthen the Nigerian economy which, he said, starts with changing the orientation in consumption pattern of Nigerians, by shifting their mindset and preference for anything foreign to patronizing made-in-Nigeria products.
Although he acknowledged that there are challenges in promoting Made-in-Nigeria products because of quality and standard issues, he nonetheless said Nigerians must challenge themselves; as he insisted that “we have the ability in Nigeria to make products of the highest quality”.
The Minister explained that by encouraging patronage, manufacturers will be challenged to invest in technology required to upscale quality. “We are therefore calling on all our economic agents to re-oriente to Nigerian made goods and services first before considering imported products.”
While expecting that the Summit will serve as a strong platform to sharpen the focus of conversation and extract tangible commitments and outcomes from participants, the Minister said the key thrust would be to facilitate stakeholders’ discussion and agreements on the practical issues, opportunities, policies and regulations needed to allow “Made-in-Nigeria” a success in the country.
“It should also work out the strategy to achieve self-sufficiency and value-addition capacities in several products in manufacturing and services in the shortest possible time”, he added.
Speaking on the essence of the summit, Senator Udoma said many of the reform policy initiatives that have underpinned the evolution of the country’s growth strategies in the past 23 years were strongly influenced by debates and deliberations during the summits.
Recalling that last year’s Summit focused on the tough choices required to achieve competiveness, inclusive growth and sustainability, he said many of the recommendations were reflected in the 2016 Budget and the Strategic Implementation Plan for Budget 2016.
He therefore enjoined the planning committee to, while designing the agenda for this year’s Summit, take cognizance of the current Administration’s commitment to repositioning of the economy, creating jobs for the youths, as well as supporting the vulnerable groups.
Vice chairman of the Board of Directors of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), Asue Ighodalo, added that this year’s edition of the Summit is expected to convey the need for Nigerians to urgently commit to structural and fiscal changes which will enable the leverage of market size and turn our consumption pattern from negative economic impact into being an asset through assuring a focus on “Made-in-Nigeria.”
“The key trust would be to facilitate stakeholders’ discussions and agreements on the practical issues, opportunities, policies and regulations needed to allow “Made-in-Nigeria” effectively and quickly succeed. NES#22 will also work out the strategy to achieve self-sufficiency and value-addition capacities in several products in manufacturing and services in the shortest possible time”, he added.
Reviewing the last Summit, Ighodalo said recommendations were targeted towards issues of foreign exchange stability, reinvention of public institutions, investment in social services and economic infrastructure, skills development, and enabling business environment through legislative efficiency, economic diversification, as well as an alternative approach to financing government Joint ventures.