The Minister of Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga, has disclosed that under a new Local Patronage Policy, members of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) will form part of a monitoring and compliance committee that will enforce government's patronage of 'Made in Nigeria' products.
He noted that economic productivity is the result of innovation and patronage and that the President Goodluck Jonathan-led Administration was ready to leverage on the policy of local procurement practice to transform the economy and revolutionise the industrial sector.
He said that the President has made it clear that his focus in the next two years will dwell on the manufacturing and industrial sectors in order to diversify the economy through value addition and making the industries more productive and profitable.
Aganga, who spoke during a tour of Omatek Ventures Plc in Lagos, also pointed out that no country in the world was able to develop by neglecting its manufacturing sector and focusing on raw materials export.
"A new policy to promote local patronage will soon be out and a campaign on patronising our made in Nigeria products is already being broadcasted on air but it will soon be backed by policy and a monitoring and compliance body which will include members of MAN," he said.
The Minister assured stakeholders that the present administration was backing words with action and will therefore make sure that the policy, when out, will be enforced.
"Government has already succeeded in the oil and gas sector through the Local Content Act, and we are set to replicate this achievement in other sectors of the economy in order to increase industrial productivity and provide more jobs for Nigerians," he said.
He noted that there were many barriers to economic productivity in the country and that ICT constitutes part of the solutions to these barriers because it improves efficiency and constitutes a major part of economic development.
He praised the innovative and solution-driven vision of Omatek for being able to reduce their energy cost by 85 per cent using solar powered panels and LED bulbs, which the company produced.
He said that, already, all Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies across the country have been directed to patronise only 'Made in Nigeria' computers.
"The Bank of Industry has also made a commitment to use Omatek computers in all their offices across the country and I will consider how we can have solar-powered panels installed in my ministry," he said.
In her remark, the Chief Executive officer and Managing Director of Omatek Plc, Mrs. Florence Seriki, disclosed that the company was the only one in Africa with a 24-hour power solution through its solar powered panels.
She said that some of the innovations of the company, which also has a branch in Ghana, include producing PCs and notebooks, computer chassis, multimedia loudspeakers and reducing the 60 watts bulb to just 7seven watts and a 168 watts lit area with 36 watts with a guarantee of 3-5 years.
"We cannot create jobs without ICT and manufacturing, however the local content policy and patronage are very important in order to sustain the drive of local manufacturing," she said.
Also present at the facility tour, the President of MAN, Kola Jamodu, noted that Omatek was in the innovative segment of technology and must be commended for keeping up with the pace of improvements in their designs.
He said there was no way the unemployment situation in the country can be solved without empowering the manufacturing sector, stressing that it was therefore necessary for government to partner the manufacturing sector to create more jobs and solve the problem of insecurity to lives and properties.
In his remark, the Director-General of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Oscar Onyema, said that being one of the foremost ICT companies to be registered on the NSE with 6,000 shareholders, Omatek has shown to the world that it has a vision worth buying into stressing that this was great not just for Nigeria but for Africa.