The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, says he is an ardent patron of products made in Aba and was wearing locally made clothes on Monday.
The minister disclosed this in Umuahia on Monday at the Federal Government’s town hall meeting and the launch of the national reorientation campaign, “Change Begins With Me’,” in Abia.
Mr. Ngige said he used to buy his wears from Malaysia before he realised that such items were made locally, particularly from Aba and are of better quality.
The minister noted that “Nigeria and Nigerians have the resources to make the country great but we must look inward to develop our products’’.
He said Abia had the full potential to become the industrial base of the country and the present administration had identified Aba as one of the places to build industrial parks and clusters.
Mr. Ngige called on the people of the state to take full potential of the advantage to transform the state and generate employment for the teeming youth.
The host of the event and the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said that one of the major planks of the Federal Government’s diversification policy was the boosting of local production of goods and services.
He said government had also identified patronising Made-in-Nigeria goods and services as key to the success of the policy.
“In this regard, I can boldly say that Abia state is a pacesetter.
“Today, the state supplies high-quality military boots to our military and that is just one of such impressive ventures by the state.
“So, while the state is boosting local production of goods and services, the military is patronising Made-in-Nigeria goods.
“It is a symbiotic relationship, and there is no better way to give teeth to the economic diversification policy,’’ he said.
The minister said that to encourage patronage of Made-in-Nigeria products, the Federal Government had approved the review of the establishing Act of the Bureau of Public Procurement.
He said the review of the Act would encourage and mandate patronage of local products and services by government institutions and private establishments.
The minister said that the policy would result in growth, development and boosting of the nation’s economy.
Mr. Mohammed said government had introduced policies to develop Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, MSME, and approved a 60-day national action plan for ease of doing business in the country.
He said the measures would boost local production and give a much-needed bounce to the nation’s economy.
Also, the Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Bawa Bwari, said that government had identified 44 viable mineral resources across the country.
Mr. Bwari said that experts from the developed world had also been engaged to develop bankable data on the resources to attract local and international investors.
The minister said that 675,000 mining cooperative societies had been registered by government to encourage local investors in the sector.
He said that the Federal Government would collaborate with states to develop the mining sector.