Mayowa Okekale, Abuja
The President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, on Monday launched a contest to promote Made in Nigeria products.
The contest which will run for the first three months is aimed at showcasing the process and raw materials used in producing such locally made goods.
Bamikole Omishore, Special Assistant to the Senate President on New Media, said that the contest will identify the good products that could be matched with investors and relevant government agencies.
He said that such agencies or investors would drive the products to the extent that they compete favourably with imported similar products.
“Today, as promised, we kick-start the soft launch of the #MadeInNigeria Challenge. This campaign is organised to showcase everyday products that are used by Nigerians and produced by Nigerians locally that serve as alternative to imported products.
“In the next few weeks, we hope to identify products and ideas that can be matched with investors and government agencies. To wrap up the Challenge, in March, we will be inviting some of the finalists to a Made In Nigeria Roundtable at the Senate.
“This roundtable will allow us – legislators, government agencies, business owners, and everyday Nigerian consumers to review and update the report of the National Assembly Business Environment Roundtable (NASSBER), which was held in 2016 to improve the ease of doing business in the country,” he said.
Saraki added that the roundtable would also be used to get feedback on the amendment to the Public Procurement Act passed by the Senate in 2016.
The amended Act mandates government agencies to give preference to local manufacturers in the procurement of goods and services.
Saraki’s aide added that from feedback received from Nigerians, people want to see improved ease of doing business, access to funding, effective oversight on agencies to make sure they are actually giving preference to Made In Nigeria and most importantly to make sure clear guidelines that are accessible online are set by the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON), National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Nigerian Export Promotion Council, etc.
He wished all the participants good luck and called on Nigerians to use the hashtag #MadeInNigeria in their submitted videos for the competition.
•Senate President Bukola Saraki.