In his continued quest to provide a platform for the promotion of Made in Nigeria products in order to boost Small and Medium Scale Enterprises in the country, Senate President, Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has informed of his plan to launch ‘Made in Nigeria Challenge’ in January 2017.
Saraki, in a statement signed by Bamikole Omisore, his special assistant on New Media, stated that the ‘Made in Nigeria Challenge’ initiative will afford entrepreneurs in the country opportunity to connect manufacturers that produce alternatives to imported products.
The initiative, the Senate President stated, will not only assist upcoming entrepreneurs but open door of opportunities for established local manufacturers to compete in international markets.
“On 2nd of January 2017, my office will launch #MadeInNigeria challenge to connect investors to manufacturers that produce alternatives to imported products, since inception of the 8th Senate, we have championed and encouraged the patronage of #MadeInNigeria goods so as to jumpstart the economy and we have also amended the Public Procurement Act to support this agenda.
“In 2017, we intend to take #MadeInNigeria further by using legislation to discourage importation of goods that can be produced locally, take the advocacy directly to Nigerians, work with government agencies to create enabling environment and encourage Nigerians who have eyes for local production i.e. goods that are ready substitute to imported ones” the statement read.
“From January 2nd 2017, using hashtag #MadeinNigeria manufacturers can post 45 seconds to 3 minutes video of a product we are importing but that they can produce using at least 80 per cent local content.
“Those shortlisted will be invited to a roundtable with investors and government agencies such as Bank of Industry (BoI), Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) and so on,” he said.
Meanwhile, the legislative upper chamber is on the process of amending the procurement act in other to ensure government agencies consider locally made products first in all their procurement.