By Charles Nwaoguji
The Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON), has commended the Federal Government for putting the spotlight on local manufacturers through initiatives like the Executive Order compelling government agencies to direct at 40 per cent of procurement to Made-in-Nigeria goods and services.
According to SON’s Director General, Mr. Osita Anthony Aboloma, a strong government push to encourage Nigerians to support locally made goods and services will help encourage entrepreneurship. This, in turn, could help spur diversification of the economy, create local jobs, and reduce unemployment.
“Local service providers and manufacturers could play an important role in the revival of Nigeria’s economy,” he added. “We welcome the effort to encourage industrialisation and diversify the economy from commodities into new areas. Strong local demand is the foundation of a manufacturing sector that can grow into an export industry.”
Aboloma, who stated this at the One-day stakeholders workshop on Executive order 003 (Local content policy and procurement reforms), held recently in Lagos, said that government was putting its money where its mouth is with its Executive Order and giving the public a good example to follow.
However, he noted there is another way government could do more to encourage the growth of small businesses in Nigeria, including tax incentives for local producers, support in accessing finance, and facilitating mentoring and skills development programmes between small business and bigger companies.
Infrastructure investment across roads, power, communications and ports are also important in spurring development of local industry, he says. “There is enormous scope for government and the private sector to cooperate on creating polices and infrastructure that create an enabling environment for Nigeria’s business builders.”
He stated that SON would support the initiatives to provide standards for all products produce by the entrepreneurs.
“Small businesses and start-ups are the engines that will power Nigeria’s growth into the future,” says. “The sooner we start supporting our proudly Nigerian suppliers and service providers, the better for us. With our support, they can create wealth and jobs for the country, and many of them could grow into globally competitive exporters.”