Senate President Bukola Saraki on Friday restated his call that Nigeria could only grow its economy by patronising made-in-Nigeria products.
Saraki spoke when the chief executive of Adic Designs Limited, Adiele Ekeke, presented to him 29 locally-made fabric which he had ordered when he inspected the stalls of participants in the made-in-Aba trade fair in Abuja recently.
The senate president, according to a statement by his chief press secretary, Sanni Onogu, said he was happy that the Public Procurement Act was in the process of being amended to encourage Nigerian industries through the purchase of locallyproduced goods.
After receiving the 29 made-in-Nigeria fabric designed for him, the senate president said he would spread the message to all his colleagues in both chambers to begin to patronise made in Nigeria products.
“On a serious note, we must all work together to help our local industries. A lot of people laugh about it, but it is a serious matter. I think that we should be very committed,” Saraki said.
“This is how other countries started and have been able to succeed, so let us join hands in supporting our own entrepreneurs.”
Saraki recalled that a few weeks back, he joined Eyinnaya Abaribe to attend the made-in-Aba trade fair in Abuja.
“We went round, looked at some of the products being made by Nigerians and we made a commitment then that we will definitely support the patronage of made-in-Nigeria products by all,” he added.
“This might look like a small step in our action but it is very symbolic and we truly believe that it is time for us to drive our economy, stimulate jobs by encouraging and supporting our indigenous manufacturers.
“I have said that the national assembly will support locally-produced items from garments, wears and cars. I am also happy that the Public Procurement Act is in the process of being amended. It has gone through first reading and we hope that next week we will take the second reading.”
He urged the senate committee on trade and investment to step up its oversight activities to ensure that most of the close to N4trn earmarked for expenditure by the federal government in the 2016 budget is spent to support local industries, “whether it is retail products, cars or technology and it will help a lot of our young people who are looking for jobs.”
He specifically promised to wear the clothes supplied to him from Aba to plenary next Wednesday.