We Will Do All To Support Local Producers, Manufacturers – Osinbajo

We Will Do All To Support Local Producers, Manufacturers – Osinbajo The Vice President of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osibanjo, has again said that the quest for development of local capacity is a panacea for rapid economic growth.

He made this assertion during the Southeast maiden edition of Nationwide Micro Small and Medium Enterprise Clinic held at Aba, after the media launch in Abuja on Tuesday.

Using as an analogy, the story President Muhammadu Buhari once told him about the importance of taking care of people “who do the things that make us comfortable”, the Vice President observed “it is important to pay attention to MSMES”.

“We will spend time to ensure that we give those who produce locally all the support that we can give, and that is why we are doing this clinics,” he said.

The Vice President went round the stands of all the agencies at the Aba MSMES Clinic and also those of several businesses and local manufacturers, all of whom were obviously elated at the Federal Government’s gesture to re-orient the relationship between them and the agencies.

He said that “you can’t do much for manufacturing without coming to Aba,” and adding that Aba traders, artisans, tailors, shoemakers and others “are the bedrock of our economy.”

According to him, the Nigerian government agenda is to create sustainable platform through its relevant agencies that would ensure that businesses in the country that produce locally made goods are given adequate support and wider spectrum to grow.

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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo examining some footwears made in Aba

He urged the relevant government agencies to see themselves as facilitators of the businesses and remove bottlenecks that are often reported when enterprises have something to do with the agencies.

Commenting at the Clinic, the Abia State Governor, Dr. Okpezie Ikpeazu, who accompanied the Vice President said “with the visit of the Acting President to Abia today, the story of Aba traders will change. The visit of the Acting President is a testimony that something new is happening here.”

Professor Osinbajo who has since returned to Abuja, was also accompanied by the Industry, Trade and Investment Minister, Dr. Okey Enelamah, among several other senior government officials.

The Office of the Special Adviser on Economic Matters in the Presidency devised the idea of a Clinic to bridge the gap between medium and small scale businesses and government agencies such as Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC; Standards Organisation of Nigeria, SON; National Agency for Food & Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC; Bank of Industry, BOI; Federal Inland Revenue Services, FIRS; Nigerian Export Promotion Council, NEPC; and others.

The Clinic is meant to bring together all those agencies in one spot and at appointed times across the country to attend to the needs, questions and requests of people doing business.

Another Eight Die In Bangladesh Factory Fire

Eight people were killed when a fire swept through a clothing factory in Bangladesh, police and an industry association official said on Thursday, as the death toll from the collapse of another factory building two weeks ago climbed above 900.

The fire, in an industrial district of Dhaka, comes amid global attention on safety standards in Bangladesh’s booming garment industry following the catastrophic collapse of Rana Plaza, on the outskirts of the city, in the world’s deadliest industrial accident since the Bhopal disaster in India in 1984.

“It is not clear to us how the accident happened, but we are trying to find out the cause,” Mohammad Atiqul Islam, president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), told Reuters.

On Wednesday the Bangladesh government said it had shut down 18 garment factories for safety reasons following the April 24 collapse of Rana Plaza, which housed five garment factories making clothes for Western brands. Six were cleared to re-open on Thursday after inspectors issued safety certificates.

Salvage teams were still pulling bodies from the rubble of the Rana Plaza complex in Savar, around 20 miles northwest of Dhaka, and on Thursday a spokesman at the army control room coordinating the operation said the number of people confirmed to have been killed had reached 912.

Roughly 2,500 people were rescued from the building, including many injured, but there is no official estimate of the numbers still missing.

The government has blamed the owners and builders of the eight-storey complex for using shoddy building materials, including substandard rods, bricks and cement, and not obtaining the necessary clearances.

Bangladesh’s garment industry, which accounts for 80 percent of the poor South Asian country’s exports, has seen a series of deadly accidents, including a fire in November that killed 112 people.

The latest fire, in an 11-storey building in the Mirpur industrial district, broke out at a factory belonging to the Tung Hai Group, a large garment exporter.

“The factory was closed and all the workers had left the premises an hour earlier,” said fire service official Bhazan Sarker.

A fire service official and BGMEA president Islam said the Bangladeshi managing director of the company and a senior police officer were among the dead. The others killed were friends and personal staff of the factory boss, officials said.

Tung Hai Group says on its website that it has more than 1,000 employees and its customers include major Western retailers including Britain’s Primark, and Inditex Group of Spain. It makes products including cardigans, jumpers and pyjamas.