Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says made-in-Nigeria products will get more patronage if the country’s borders are effectively policed.
This, according to him, is because secure borders will help limit the influx of counterfeit products into the country and put a lid on smuggling.
The Vice President said this on Thursday when a delegation from the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) visited him at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
“More importantly, the whole issue is that we are able to police the borders. Last week we had discussions with all the agencies connected; including the Customs, the Minister of Internal Affairs, NPA, and we were looking at how we can work with our neighbours, especially the Benin Republic, and our neighbours also in the North, to police our borders as much as we can,” he said.
To ensure that the country’s border is better policed, the Federal Government is partnering with neighbouring countries.
In addition to securing the borders, the Vice President believes certain sections of the country’s laws should be amended to attract stringent monetary penalties for defaulters, a move that would deter others.
Smuggling and the influx of counterfeit products have been perennial challenges for the country’s authorities and manufacturers.
Both issues have stunted the growth of the manufacturing sector and should they be brought under control, the manufacturing sector is expected to benefit.
Such a situation is something the Federal Government has said is critical and Vice President Osinbajo reiterated that the major focus of the Buhari administration’s Ease of Doing Business reforms was to increasing patronage for locally manufactured goods, as well as to create an enabling environment for the private sector and businesses in the country to thrive.
“The whole point of the Executive Order on promoting “Made-in-Nigeria” products was to set the ball rolling, to create an environment for this sort of initiative, and I am extremely grateful to MAN for the work that it has done in bringing this to the fore,” he said.
The Vice President said this when a delegation of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) paid a visit to him today at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The President MAN, Frank Jacobs, who led the delegation, presented a report on the association’s advocacy campaign for patronage of Made-in-Nigeria products to Professor Osinbajo during the visit.
Jacobs explained that the advocacy campaign was not only aimed at improving the patronage of locally manufactured products by Nigerians but to also help create more jobs for Nigerians in the local manufacturing sector by reducing imports.
Osinbajo assured the delegation that the Federal Government would consider the request made by MAN for a 35 percent margin of preference for Made-in-Nigeria products for government procurement.
“I think that, in this particular case, the 35 percent threshold is entirely reasonable. We should be able to do better than that in terms of driving government procurement,” Osinbajo said.