FG TO COMPEL MDAS TO BUY MADE-IN-NIGERIA PRODUCTS
As a key part of the industrial revolution embarked upon by the Federal Government, states, ministries, departments and agencies will now be compelled to buy Made-in-Nigeria products in line with the local content provision for government procurement, the Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, has said.
He said that the upward review of the local content of goods procured by government’s MDAs was aimed at increasing the productive capacity of local industries for job creation, wealth generation and, ultimately, economic growth and development.
Aganga spoke during the Workshop (Day Two) on “Enhancing the Productivity of Industries” in Lagos, on Tuesday.
He said that his ministry was working with the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria to ensure that local manufacturers also got higher shares in the supply of goods to be procured by the government.
He said, “We are looking at the list of things that are procured by the Federal Government because the government is the biggest spender in the economy. So, we are looking at the items that are procured locally and working with the industries to find out which of these items are locally available so that our local manufacturers are patronised.
“One of the highlights of the workshop today is how we can put an institutionalised framework that will allow us to match the government, the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria and innovators to possibly have an off-take agreements with them so that manufacturers can use that to raise funds to enable them grow their businesses.”
He added, “We are also looking at reviewing our local procurement procedures to differentiate between locally manufactured products and the ones that are imported. Where there is a differential of about 15 per cent, we are reviewing that to see if 15 per cent is the right number, or whether some sectors should be less or more. We are working with MAN to come up with the right number in this regard.”
The minister stated that, as part of the industrial revolution, the Federal Government was considering a new paradigm that would boost the development of the steel industry.
Aganga said that his ministry would partner the Ministry of Solid Minerals and Steel Development to implement a backward integration policy that will enable the country explore and process the abundant iron ore deposits across the country to support industrial growth and development.
He said, “We are embarking on an Industrial Revolution which is anchored on areas where we have comparative and competitive advantage such as agri-business, solid minerals and petrochemicals. Also, we are concentrating on growing the industries that are labour-intensive so that we will be able to create jobs for our teeming population. For example, in the mining-related industry, we are collaborating with the Ministry of Mines and Steel to develop the chain in the steel sector.
“There is no country that has industrialised without growing its iron and steel industry. In Nigeria, we import raw materials for the steel industry yet we have a lot. As part of our Industrial Revolution, we need to embark on big strategies, working with the Ministry of Solid Minerals and Steel Development, to process the raw materials used for the steel industry.”
The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr. Musa Sada, said his ministry would work with the Ministry of Trade and Investment to develop the value chain for steel production.
He said, “We are working with the Ministry of Trade and Investment to boost the development of the value chain for steel production. Already, we have carried out airborne magnetic survey of solid minerals deposits across the country to ascertain areas with large deposits of solid minerals to enable investors have adequate information on reforms to attract investors in the solid minerals sector by ensuring that the process is transparent and straightforward.
“Small steel produce companies are not producing steel that meet standards. Currently, we produce some reasonable quantity of about a million tonnes, but in the long run, we need to have enough iron ore to ensure a sustainable steel production that will fast-track the country’s Industrial Revolution,” he noted.