Posted by Boniface Okoro, Umuahia | 1 April 2016 | 2,950 times
Abia State governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, has called on Nigerians to patronise locally-made goods, saying that the high rate of importation of foreign goods that could be produced locally has ruined the country’s economy.
“Apart from corruption, the greatest enemy of Nigeria is importation,” Ikpeazu declared Wednesday during his Quarterly Press Briefing where he unfolded the programmes of his administration for the next 100 days.
Responding to a suggestion on partnering with other agencies to get better packaging of locally-produced foods and other goods during the media parley held at Government House, Umuahia, the governor was categorical that he was “concerned with satisfying the local people, not export.”
He maintained that Nigeria’s population was a great asset to any local manufacturer who could satisfy the market while dismissing insinuations that population explosion in the country as was being projected by 2030 portends danger for the economy. He argued that such development would rather serve to create market expansion.
“My desire is that Abia State should manufacture and supply all military uniforms and kits and supply to the Nigerian military and para-military – the Army, Air Force, Navy, Custom, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, produce shoes and garments for the populace, among others. If we achieve that, we cannot be crying of dwindling allocation from the federation account,” he said.
The Governor explained that continued importation of commodities such as rice and foreign condiments means creating employment opportunities and boosting the economies of other countries while killing that of Nigeria.
Ikpeazu who is at the fore-front of the campaign for Nigerians to patronise locally-made goods, opined that any state in the federation which could mass produce any goods it has a comparative advantage could not suffer economic recession because Nigeria’s population provides a ready market.
He said Nigeria was suffering the current economic recession because she failed to do what she needed to during the boom by looking inwards and promoting local industrialisation and agriculture.
While encouraging Nigerians to shun foreign foods and goods which could be provided in the country, Ikpeazu said “this is the time all of us should be proud of all that is native to us.”
•Photo by Ibeabuchi Abarikwu shows Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, addressing newsmen during his quarterly press briefing at government house Umuahia. With him on the left is his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Godwin Adindu and on the right Mr. Ugochukwu Emezue, SSA on Media.
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