From Desmond Mgboh, Kano
Nigeria spent a whopping N6.7 trillion on the importation of goods and services that could be produced locally, the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Hajia Aisha Abubakar has said.
The Minister who disclosed this at the weekend in Kano gave the breakdown to include N1.09 trillion, which was reportedly expended on food and drinks, N1.5 trillion on spare parts, N123 .01 billion on shoes and clothes and N399 billion on household items among others.
The minister, who spoke at the regional press lunch/stakeholders meetings held at Kano Government House, lamented the loss inflicted on the resources of the nation, arguing that the amount spent on these importations would have impacted hugely on the economy in the area of the creation of wealth, reduction of poverty and generation of employment.
The minister said the present administration was committed to boosting awareness and patronage for made-in-Nigeria goods and services , saying the acting president , Professor Yemi Osinbajo had recently issued an executive order which gave preference for the procurement of locally made uniforms, footwear, food and beverages, stationeries, pharmaceuticals, motor vehicles, construction materials.
She disclosed that the same executive order made it mandatory that, ‘at least 40 per cent of the procurement expenditure on these items in all MDAs of the Federal Government of Nigeria shall be locally manufactured goods and service providers”
Hajia Abubukar stressed the determination of her ministry to implement the campaign designed to changing the psyche of Nigerians from their dependence on foreign goods and services to preference for locally manufactured goods and services with a view to growing the economy.
In his remark, Kano State Governor, Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje said “the virtue of consumer patriotism should be inculcated in the minds of Nigerians to patronize our local products which has to be demonstrated at both private and all the functions of government establishments.”
The Governor who was represented by Alhaji Rabiu Bako, assured that the ailing industries in the state would soon be revived adding that they were partnering with the Manufacturing Association of Nigeria (MAN) and other stakeholders to commence the production of qualitative made-in-Nigeria products.