Senate moves to enforce patronage of local goods
THE Senate, Wednesday adopted a motion seeking the amendment of the Procurement Act to compel all government agencies and institutions to give maximum priority to patronising locally made products.
Adopting a two prayer motion moved by Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe (PDP Abia South) titled “Need For Patronisation of Made-in-Nigeria Goods,” the Senate urged the Federal Government to initiate and implement the first option policy on purchase of locally manufactured goods for any government procurement in all arms of government and every public funded organisation.
It also urged both the National Assembly to amend the Procurement Act to ensure that as a matter of law, agencies of government and government funded institutions adopt ‘the made-in-Nigeria’ goods first option policy and where consideration is first given to the local industry before any other.
In a comment shortly after the motion had been passed, Senate President Bukola Saraki said: “I used the opportunity to commend him because I had the opportunity to attend the ‘Made-in-Aba’ exhibition which he has been doing using the zonal intervention funds and I think it was very good because as you all know there is a wrong misconception sometimes of this zonal intervention funds of the National Assembly. The perception sometimes are these monies is not used for any good course and it was very commendable to see that for years these monies has been used to support his trade fair,” he said.
Earlier, Abaribe lamented that: “Today, Nigeria consumes what it does not produce. Investment in real sector has given way to trading in foreign and imported goods, stressing that the resultant impact has been a negative balance of trade, the shutting down of textiles companies, battery, tobacco, wood processing factories, cocoa and palm oil farms and other factories that had been the bane of the Nigerian economy.”
According to him, government spends billions of naira yearly to purchase imported vehicles, furniture, textiles, printing paper and even consumables such as rice, drugs, vegetable oils, fruit juice, noting that in the second quarter of 2015 alone, Nigeria spent N42.4 billion in importation of wheat and meslin and spent N25.3 billion in importation of rice.
Abaribe, therefore urged government to put measures in place to ensure obligatory official patronage of locally made products for all agencies of government and all officials funded by public funds, local producers and investors will have the incentive to invest quantitatively and qualitatively in the country because of the certainty of the market demand.
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