Minister of Budget and National Planning,Sen. Udoma Udo Udoma, says the Federal Government is working with relevant stakeholders to encourage more production and consumption of Made –in- Nigeria goods and services.
Sen. Udoma said this at the opening of 22nd edition of the Nigerian Economic Summit (NES) on Monday in Abuja with the theme: “Made-in-Nigeria.’’
He said with more patronage of Made-in Nigeria goods and services, producers would be encouraged to improve on quality and create jobs for the teeming youth.
“There is no doubt that one of the fastest routes to grow our economy and create jobs is by encouraging our people to produce more, and export more.
“This strategy will also generate foreign exchange that can help in stabilising and strengthening the Naira.’’
The minister said the government would start taking steps to encourage its officials to buy Made- in- Nigeria products.
Udoma said the government would also continue to improve the enabling environment for businesses to thrive in the country.
“We will continue, among other things, to prioritise our spending towards critical infrastructure to improve Nigerian competitiveness.
“Government agencies will work with the private sector to support research with a view to developing high quality indigenous products and technologies.
“Many of our programmes have been structured in such a way as to stimulate domestic production.
“For instance, our School Feeding Programme will utilise only locally grown and produced food items.
“But much more, needs to be done by both the public sector and the private sector to encourage and support local production,’’ he said.
Udoma, however, urged the stakeholders to come up with practical roadmap that would contextualise “Made in Nigeria” as an economic growth and development strategy for our short, medium and long term development.
Also, Mr Kyari Bukar, Chairman of Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) said the summit had become a platform to discuss and understand economic policies in the country for the past 22 years.
Bukar commended the government for implementing some of the recommendations of NES 21 which included diversification of the economy.
He urged the government to implement more of those recommendations to help the country out the economic recession.
The Chairman said that the theme of the summit would be used to embody the imperative to commit to the structural and fiscal change required to strengthen the economy.
“Past summits have made recommendations on self-sufficiency in local production and an export-driven economy.
“With our current economic realities, this is the perfect opportunity to articulate a national discussion on Made- in-Nigeria to become an economic growth and development agenda.
“`It will also seek to work out strategies to achieve self –sufficiency and value-addition capacities for several products and services in the shortest possible time,’’ he said.
NESG was incorporated in 1996 as non-profit private sector organisation with a mandate to promote and champion the reform of Nigerian economy into an open, private sector-led globally competitive economy.
The summit is organised in collaboration with the Ministry of Budget and National Planning.