Delegates to the National Conference yesterday recommended that the federal government should, as a matter of urgent national importance, make it mandatory for all government agencies and parastatals to patronize Made-in-Nigeria goods.
The delegates said the mandatory patronage of local content goods would not only boost appreciation for home-made goods but ginger production and ultimately expand the scope of job opportunities for Nigerians.
Presenting the proposed amendment to the initial recommendation, Deputy Chairman, Professor Bolaji Akinyemi, said the recommendation as proposed by the committee for trade and investment and the amendment sought were all in the interest of the local content development and appreciation.
Accordingly, when he put the proposal to vote it was overwhelmingly supported. The delegates, in chorus concord with the proposal, as they acquiesced with the read out proposal thus: “The federal government should in an effort to boost local content and industrial development ensure that all agencies and parastatals of government patronize Made-in-Nigeria goods.
“Also the federal government should cause the National Assembly to make patronage of local content products compulsory for all agencies and parastatals of government in order to strengthen local industry and generate job opportunities for Nigerians.”
The delegates, who had earlier spoken in favour of deliberate policy to encourage, boost, and strengthen all endeavours considered appropriate and proper to ginger local industry development and mass production of local goods.
According to the delegates, without making patronage of local content products a constitutional matter, it would only remain a lip service even as a delegate asserted that the majority of them at the conference were observed to have worn foreign made goods.
Meanwhile, the conference has also recommended that the federal government should not enter into any partnership/trade agreement that would be detrimental to Nigeria’s industrial development.
The conference particularly mentioned the Economic Partnership Agreement, which Nigeria is likely to sign stressing that any agreement that would allow foreign companies easy and almost tax- free access into the country should be discouraged.
Further, the conference called on the federal government to as a matter of urgent national importance review partnership/trade agreements with ECOWAS and WTO.