The unexpected economic downturn that rocked the most populous black nation in the world Nigeria in the outgoing year 2016 manifested via its ripple effects on the cost of trade, prices of goods and services, finances, citizenry, businesses, corporate bodies and everything in-between.
However, it seems the fast approaching New Year 2017 will be arriving with good tidings to lift local manufacturers whose locally made goods will have the opportunity to challenge imported goods Nigerians have hitherto been accustomed to. All thanks to the forthcoming launch of the ‘Made In Nigeria Challenge’ by Nigeria’s Senate President Abubakar Bukola Saraki.
The #TheMadeInNigeriaChallenge is expected to also boost the nation’s economy as well as attract more interest towards locally made goods, foster great relationships with countries on the African continent and diaspora. The impending launch of the #MadeInNigeriaChallenge is a positive step by the Senate President to help tackle some intertwined problems in the country such as Economy downturn (Recession) and unemployment, as there have been some innovative ideas executed by many Nigerians which are yet to see the light of the day due to little or insufficient form of recognition, promotion and low market value.
A case in point as regards these innovations by Nigerian’s are the locally made products and their manufacturers which are available in the archives of the National Universities Commission(NUC). They include non-fuel electricity generators, using only battery with zero maintenance. Generators that use salt-water (brine) as fuel, phone chargers, electric bulbs, solar panels etc. These items and many more were showcased by Prof Julius Okojie during the NUC annual entrepreneurial week 2014, in Abuja.
According to a statement signed by Bamikole Omisore, the special assistant to Bukola Saraki on New Media,
“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.