The federal government, yesterday, revealed that it may place an embargo on some produce imported into the country in order to encourage local farmers.
This revelation was made by the Executive Secretary of the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), Professor Mohammed Sani Haruna, at the flag-off of the Business Stakeholders Advocacy Engagement Project during the unveiling of the project’s campaign: #BuyNaija2GrowNaija.
The Executive Director, who was represented by Mr. Tongshaka Joel, said that: “This is a very important initiative because no nation develops when it keeps depending on imports. Any nation that depends on import is a nation that is doomed. Nobody will develop your country for you.
“The government is a major stakeholder. It must create an enabling environment for this project to succeed. The government makes the laws and they must come to play. We must place an embargo on some products. There are certain products we will stop from coming into Nigeria, such as meats and other farm produce. Doing this will make our products competitive. We must depend on what we have,” he added.
He stressed that self-reliance from imports will solve the problem of unemployment in the country, adding that the government will ensure that every initiative that will lead to the country’s autonomy from imports will be adequately funded.
Speaking at the event, the Executive Director of Nigeria Market, Mr. Chimene Samuel, acknowledged that the coronavirus pandemic has taught the world a series of lessons, however, stating that it depends on the country to utilise the lessons it has learnt.
“I will like to appreciate the COVID-19 pandemic. I know many of you will be perplexed on why I should say such when the pandemic brought with it death, economic ruins and mass job losses. These concerns are understandable, but from another point of view, the pandemic has taught us a long list of lessons that if we give considerable attention to, will help us create sustainable and long-term economic blueprints.
“The pandemic has shown us the worse case scenario. It’s time to reflect, build momentum and forge ahead, but this time, more intelligently,” he said.
The Nigeria Market, which is an online advocacy platform that spotlights and promotes Made-in-Nigeria products, encourages consumers’ acceptability and patronage of locally manufactured Nigerian brands and products.
Also speaking at the event, the former chairman of Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA), Dr. Jide Adeniji, described the importation of goods by FG and Nigerians as “a pathetic situation”.
“We have the greatest forestry in the whole of Africa – sufficient timbers, iroko trees – but unfortunately, Nigeria imports toothpicks. There is no mineral that Nigeria does not process, but today, they are being exploited by Indians, Chinese.
“The source of gold in Nigeria is in a village called Ilesha. The Chinese have taken over the place. There is also gold in Zamfara state, but some self-centered people exploring it for their own selfish interest. The Nigerian situation is very pathetic,” he concluded.
Dr. Adeniji went further to emphasise on the galore of Nigeria’s natural resources and endowments, stressing that every part of Nigeria is fruitful and productive, while he noted that the country needs to be united in its diversities in order to utilise the resources for the benefits of all Nigerians.