Posted by News Express | 26 June 2020 | 1,641 times
General Motors, Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz, Peugeot, Maseratis and Toyota: These car manufacturers and others known around the world today, at their genesis, were first accepted, patronised and promoted by the governments and thus the people of America, Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Japan. Any serious nation with aspirations to growth and development will first and foremost patronise and promote its own. Hence, you will find that in these countries and others of like bent, their governments and officials patronise and use indigenous car manufacturers.
The likes of Innoson Vehicles, indigenous to Nigeria, should as a matter of government foresight, desire, economic vision and sense become the official suppliers to all governments in Nigeria. In the same vein, the likes of Zinox Technologies must become official suppliers of computers to all government and public institutions in the country. This must apply to all sectors of the Nigerian economy, not least of all the goose that lays the golden egg: the petroleum industry. Indigenous entities like Aiteo, Oriental Energy, Famfa Oil, Seplat, etc., must be deliberately given a pathway – driven and promoted to become majors in the petroleum industry.
I have an intolerable aversion to government being in business, especially as our history has shown up government repeatedly as botchers, idlers, a cesspit of corruption and malfeasance. By law, and with deliberate thought and implementation, government vision and mission must be developed through specific policies and incentives to encourage, grow and develop our indigenous industry and businesses. There has never been any thriving economy on earth that has had a reliance of jobs creation on entities outside its jurisdiction. The hallmark of such economies is that the bulk of its jobs are provided by indigenous industry and businesses.
Government’s task must be to single-mindedly enforce policies that will see our indigenous businesses such as: Dangote Group, Innoson Group, Globacom, Seplat, BUA Group, Air Peace, Aiteo Group, Famfa Oil, Transcorp, Zenon Petroleum, Honeywell Group, Oriental Energy, Zinox Technologies, etc., develop, be driven, encouraged and promoted to not only become mainstays locally, but exported as conglomerates throughout Africa and the rest of the world. There will be a certainty to the rippling and multiplier of positive effects of such policies on the economy and existential realities of our people.
Alas, among other visions, amplified in rhetoric, the Nigerian political ruling class has been talking about diversifying the Nigerian economy since 1978, without a battle plan and mission for Nigerian industry to firstly conquer the Nigerian space.
We have had enough of “eargasms.” The Nigerian industry and business players must, in collaborated citizen advocacy, seek “emancipation from our economic mental slavery, as none but ourselves can free ourselves.” It is certainly clear that the Nigerian political ruling class cannot and will not lead that emancipation.
And so, our advocacy must reach such a crescendo that it becomes so loud, unremitting, deafening that it cannot be ignored. There is no middle course. Our salvation and the beating back of the ever-looming dark shadow of poverty with its attendant ills will only come when factories litter the land. COVID-19 puts us at the cross-roads and the blessing is that many have come to recognise it and so we must make a choice, to stick or twist, feast or famine.
As a first measure, ours is the task to seek the enforcement of “our social contract” with Government: Enactment of a Law that all governments in Nigeria must mandatorily use, buy, source and contract made or sourced in Nigeria, save that it cannot be made or sourced in Nigeria.
The hashtag for the campaign is #weinsistonnaija.
•Victor Ikhatalor, Ambassador of Nigerian Industry and Business, can be reached on Twitter @MyTribeNigeria.
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