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Scaling up patronage of Made in Aba goods

By Okechukwu Keshi Ukegbu on 06/01/2019

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 •Okechukwu Keshi Ukegbu
•Okechukwu Keshi Ukegbu

Nigeria’s economy has been in a very bad shape for some time now. Data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in November 2016 showed that the economy contracted further by 2.24 per cent in the third quarter of 2016, having slipped into recession following another contraction in output in the second quarter of 2016.

To say that the Nigerian economy is limping is an understatement. The economy is bleeding, and profusely too, as data also show that headline inflation continued to rise, creeping up in December 2016 to 18.55 per cent from 18.48 per cent in November, and 18.48 per cent in October, thus sustaining the upward momentum since January of that year.

The situation mounted serious pressure on the naira because of import dependency.

This situation is necessitated by weak, narrow export base, where revenues generated from oil and gas account for over 70 per cent of our foreign exchange earnings.

In the past, what other economies of the world adopted to pull through such a gloomy situation was boosting local production, thereby saving millions. This calls for the need to scale up patronage of locally made products, of which made-in-Aba goods have been on the front seat. On this note, nobody is advocating that the Federal Government should severe its trade relations with other countries.

Rather, to promote local production, such as made-in-Aba, the Federal Government should place high tariffs on imported military wears, thereby discouraging their importation. This effort, if implemented, will go a long way in ameliorating the economic woes of the country by saving the nation the foreign currencies expended on importation of goods and services (even those we have the capacity to produce).

It is pertinent here to reinforce the call made by former Senate president David Mark to the Federal Government, while declaring the first Made-in-Aba Fair open in Abuja. He charged the government to ban the importation of all goods that Nigerians have the capacity to produce locally.

Describing Aba as “the catalyst of industrial revolution in Nigeria”, Mark said government should henceforth discourage importation of foreign goods, because Nigeria has no business importing those goods which did not measure up to the quality of things produced in the country.

While commending the people of Aba for doing the nation proud through the spirit of enterprise and innovation demonstrated in quality products and goods made available through local skills, he noted: “We have no business importing military boots when what is produced here locally is superior to that which is brought into the country.

“We have no reason to import ballot boxes for INEC. This locally-made ballot box is actually better than the one INEC has been importing.”

•Okechukwu Keshi Ukegbu, a public policy analyst, writes from Aba, via keshiafrica@gmail.com

 

Source News Express

Posted 06/01/2019 04:48:28 AM

 

 

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