Nigerian locally made products must be branded with "Made in Nigeria" as a label before pushing them into the market, the Minister Trade and Investment Olusegun Aganga has said.
The minister made the remarks yesterday at the first Nigerian Hand-made Local Fabrics (NIHLOFAB) expo with the theme: "The development and promotion of Nigerian local fabrics into the international market."
The minister, who was represented by Ginika Nwafor of the ministry, said that "being a Nigerian is not a disadvantage but an advantage and therefore we should label our products."
He said Nigerians should pay attention to the smallest detail that can stand the country out in the global lime light, adding that there is no special job anywhere unless people add value to what they are doing. "It is worrisome that we are losing the originality that belongs to us. It's high time we began to put our label in anything we produce locally," the minister said.
According to him, the ministry is planning to incorporate artistic studies into tertiary institution curriculum to help students tap into the wealth of experience of hand made products that can help them stand on their own after graduation instead of waiting for government.
Speaking, the coordinator of NIHLOFAB, Mrs. Funmi Ayela, said that the expo idea was conceived in the cause of her travelling round the country where she discovered that there are lots of opportunities embedded in the country's local fabrics. She said the idea is to promote local fabric in the global market, adding that something quick has to be done about the local fabrics industry by projecting it.
"The funniest thing is that the people outside here appreciate our products more than we do. They come here and go to the villages and buy off these products then, travel with them without anyone knowing that exportation has taken place," she said.