The Federal Government is carrying out a sector by sector review of policies and programmes that would give concrete meaning to the Made in Nigeria campaign.
Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma, gave the indication on an NTA interview programme, Good Morning Nigeria, on Thursday.
Mr. Udoma said although new ideas had been drafted to urgently drive the process, relevant policies by past administrations were also being evaluated to further give impetus to the project, which the present administration considers as critical to its diversification effort.
The minister, who was speaking on the theme of the just concluded National Economic Summit “Made in Nigeria”, said the Federal Government was focused on driving policies and programmes that will further its vision of self-sufficiency in some critical areas in the short term, and which will ultimately lead to long term sustainability of the economy.
“I think it important in anything one does to start with a vision. What is the vision of this government, where do we want to go? The president has indicated that vision, and the vision is that we should produce as much as possible of our own food, produce as much as possible of our own clothes, textiles; that we should consume as much as possible the things that we produce.
“So, that is the overarching vision. So, we should drive all policies in that direction”, he said.
Mr. Udoma said there some policy initiatives by past administrations which are still relevant.
“Every government coming in does not have to reinvent the wheel. What needs to be done is to review or refocus the relevant ones to fit into current realities,” he said.
He cited tariffs and incentives, for instance, and said government was trying to refocus some of them.
“We are trying to look at the ones that work, keep them in place; the ones that are not working well, tweak them and find out why they are not working. It has to be sector by sector.
“We will continue to engage with the private sector in order to address these issues; and that is why the Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG) is an important forum for that, because in one place, we are able to interact with a wide spectrum of members of the private sector, captains of industry; and we are able to engage with them and identify their issues.”
The minister said government would go through the recommendations submitted to the President at the end of this year’s Summit. He noted that government was already in the process of implementing some of the recommendations.
“The important thing is that as a government, we are extremely receptive to ideas, we know that our role is to provide guidance and the enabling environment; but ultimately, it is the private sector that is going to drive the process, it is the private sector that will produce.”
Mr. Udoma pointed out the fact that the total amount of government consumption is nothing compared to the consumption of the private sector.
“When we talk about the economy, the total budget size for 2016 is N6 trillion, but we have an economy that is over N100 trillion; so the difference comes from the private sector, the States and all that.
“And so, our goal is to provide guidance, provide a clear vision, a vision that everyone can leverage on. This is where we want to get. We want a situation where we produce much of the food that we eat, which means agriculture must be supported; the textiles, the clothes that we wear, we must produce most of them, which means manufacturing must be supported.
“We want, in construction, to use more local materials, so we will support the construction industry; we will examine what components are required in that sector. In building a house, how much of the materials is sourced from outside the country. We look at it sector by sector, item by item and give the necessary support” he said.