The Kwara State government, Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and an industrialist have pushed for made-in-Nigeria goods as a recipe for the country's economy development.
They said this in Ilorin, the state capital, at the presentation of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON)'s certificate of mandatory conformity assessment programme (MANCAP) to the managing director of an Ilorin-based Forgo Battery Company Limited
, Joseph Offorjama.
The state Commissioner for Commerce and Cooperatives, Alhaji Abubakar Rifu said Nigeria does not need to rely on imported products to grow its economy.
The commissioner, who was represented by a director in the ministry, Hajia Aisat Abubakar said, "We are happy that SON is ensuring standard for us to have value for our money. If we can get value for our money we don't need to consume imported products. The campaign for buy Nigerian-made products would have started a very long time ago so that we will appreciate ourselves.
"I want to congratulate Forgo Battery for doing the right thing. We are indeed very happy with you. We will always support you; we will always be there for you when you need our services. The government is very happy with you. I encourage you not to compromise standard in your production. Let the customers recognise you."
Kwara state Coordinator, SON, Sunday Yashim said "patronage of made-in-Nigeria goods is the only way to grow the country's economy.
"The impression that made-in-Nigeria products are substandard is the mentality of the black man. He does believe in himself. The truth about it is that any product that is manufactured has minimum requirements and almost all the products we have certified have met those minimum requirements.
"Any product that has our logo, it is assumed the product is of high quality. And SON is an autonomous parastatal. If the product falls short of the minimum standard members of the "public is at liberty to see redress in the law court."
Speaking with reporters shortly after receiving the MANCAP certificate, Mr. Offorjama listed some of the challenges confronting manufacturers in the country as "difficulty in sourcing foreign exchange to import some vital materials that are not available locally; difficulty in getting spare-parts for some of the machines as they are not made here; unavailability of technical-know-how. So have to pay through our noses to import experts periodically to handle some things for us."
He admitted that locally produced goods are far better than imported ones in some instances, adding that "the local products are good and even much better, because battery has a life. The modern batteries now which are maintenance free start the day they are sealed. If you buy batteries that have been regulated by SON-Nigerian Industrial Standard (NIS) freshly made then you have got true value for your money."
He urged the Federal Government to help local manufacturers to get foreign exchange with ease.
"This should be urgently attended to because most factories still need foreign exchange to get spare parts and some raw materials that are not available here", he said.
In the area of power cost, we think government should stop the upward revive of tariff until supply improves. Presently too, there are clamours for other sources of power which we highly encourage.
"So having other sources of energy through gas and solar is welcome development.
With that energy cost can be competitive. Over time, as the economy improves we will see how to source raw materials from research institute that available to make these materials known and where they are. And we will explore them to reduce the cost of importation."