Chris Steven, Abuja
Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki has commended the Economic Summit Group (NESG) on the theme of this year’s summit which focuses on promoting Made in Nigeria goods.
Saraki who will be a guest at the summit tomorrow noted that the choice of theme put the private sector group on the same page with the Senate which has since last year identified the need to promote local manufacturers and service providers as champions of the efforts to revive the national economy.
In a statement by his Special Adviser (Media and Publicity), Yusuph Olaniyonu, the Senate President stated that the law making institution in its 20-point recommendations on how to get the nation out of the present recession mentioned that “we must reduce our imports tremendously and increase our exports to earn more dollars and the best way to do that is for us to patronize locally made goods”.
“We have therefore amended the Public Procurement Act to ensure that all government agencies compulsorily patronize local manufacturers and service producers in all their procurement. They can only resort to foreign options when there is no local alternative. With this new law, a huge portion of the national budget will go into the pockets of our people and generate employment, improve our GDP and help us to be self-sufficient.
“Other amendments in the Procurement Act reduces the period of award of contract, make the procurement process more transparent and increased mobilization fee to up to 25 percent, all in a bid to help our people just as it is being done in other countries.
“I commend the NESG for their choice of theme and urge them to discuss how to improve on quality and packaging of locally produced goods, helping local producers get into foreign markets and sourcing start-up capitals for small and medium scale entrepreneurs at rock-bottom interest rates”.