Bulk of N2.5trn capital expenditure for locally made goods — NASS

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The National Assembly has assured the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, MAN, that significant portion of the N2.5 trillion set aside for capital expenditure in the 2017 budget will be injected into procurement of Made-in-Nigeria goods, by government Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs.

Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, gave the assurance, yesterday, in Lagos, during the 45th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the association, with the theme, “Recovery and Growth of the Nigerian Economy.”

He said that Nigerian economic growth can only be sustainable if Nigerians reduce their import dependency. He said, “In this stead, the manufacturing sector has the capacity to be our pillar of growth, by creating massive employment opportunities and increasing our Gross Domestic Product, GDP.

Capital expenditure “The eighth Senate has rigorously pursued a campaign for Made-in-Nigeria products. We have also considered and created practical ways by which the government can show full support for Made-in-Nigeria goods.

This is precisely what we have done with the amendment of the Public Procurement Act. “It makes Made-in-Nigeria products, the first option of purchase in any government transaction in Nigeria.

A strict application of this law will ensure that a substantial percentage of the N2.5 trillion set aside for capital expenditure in the budget is retained in the local economy for our manufacturers.”

The Senate president, who was represented by Senator David Adebayo, further stated: “I believe strongly that for Nigeria to maintain the path of economic growth, private sector investment must be encouraged to play a central role in our economic recovery efforts.

The theme of this year’s AGM couldn’t have been more apt. After five consecutive quarters of contraction, the Nigerian economy grew by 0.55 per cent in the second quarter of 2017.

This is reflective of the improved performances of certain key aspects of our economy in response to concerted government policies and interventions. “The revitalization of the economy has been the central theme of the eighth Senate’s legislative agenda.

The state of the economy as we met it was worrisome. The eighth Senate on this background, created its legislative agenda with its focal point on reviving the economy.

We mapped out Economic Priority Bills, designed to create jobs and promote Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, MSMEs growth with particular focus on creating an enabling business environment in Nigeria, infrastructure mobilisation, and access to capital and credit.”

President of MAN, Dr. Frank Jacobs, said that the issue of power should be given topmost priority, as Nigerians know that without adequate and stable power, economic and social development will be a mirage.

He added that the issue of foreign exchange for the importation of essential manufacturing inputs is equally important.

Vanguard

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