Lagos State Governor,Akinwunmi Ambode, has restated his administration’s commitment at promoting made in Nigeria products.Speaking at the Nigeria Association of Small Scale Industrialists (NASSI) MSME Trade Fair, in Lagos, he noted that Nigeria has depended so much on oil to the detriment of other locally made products; and that is why the economic is weak.
According to him, “We have realised that the solution is to increase domestic production and output in other sectors of the economy. We also need to showcase the beautiful products that abound among our operators. We need to showcase to the world that small scale industrialists are key players in economic development of any nation.”
Represented by Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Co–operatives, Prince Rotimi Ogunleye, he further noted that the Employment Trust Fund with the cheapest rate of lending at five per cent per annum has been established to support small scale industrialists.
With the theme: Promoting made in Nigeria products towards industrial self reliance, Ambode also said the partnership of Lagos with Kebbi State for the production of LAKE rice is another way the state government is supporting locally made products.
He said the state has also invested in farming where rice can be cultivated, adding that the government also intend to produce 3,000 megawatts of electricity through the embedded approach, due to the importance of electricity to industrialisation’.
On his part, Lagos State Chairman, NASSI, Segun Kuti-George noted that ‘we are not where we should be but we are not where we were before. The current economic situation demands that we begin to look inwards and invest in our locally made products. We are still far from the destination because a lot still needs to be done. We are still faced with lots of challenges from infrastructure to capacity, funding etc. We can however enhance the value of the naira when Nigerians don’t buy their products abroad again but patronise made in Nigeria products.
Similarly, the Executive Secretary, Lagos State Employment Trust Fund, Akin Oyebode said: that ‘we have given out offer letters to a thousand four hundred people and in this exhibition, we have 15 exhibitors from the initial set of beneficiaries. The loan facility is a significant catalyst for MSME growth.
The criteria we use in choosing our beneficiaries are very transparent and open. We have a process and the applications are conducted by independent third party consultant. For every set of beneficiaries, we publish the names’.
NASSI was founded in 1978 for the growth and development of MSMEs, building capacity of members, providing networks, engaging the government to create enabling environment for businesses and projecting products and services in the market.
Source: G Business