ABEOKUTA – The Chairman, Senate Committee On Finance, Senator Solomon Olamilekan Yayi has posited that local production of goods and services remains a veritable way of addressing the challenges associated with Nigeria’s economy.
Senator Yayi disclosed this on Friday at the 2022 Lagos West Trade Fair held at LTV 8, Blue Roof, Agidingbi, Ikeja area of Lagos State.
The trade fair was facilitated by Senator Solomon Adeola in collaboration with the Federal Cooperative College, Oji River, Enugu state.
Senator Adeola maintained that, the trade fair is coming at a time all Nigerians must start imbibing the culture of patronizing locally-made goods in the interest of national economic growth.
He stressed that, the Lagos West Fair 2022 with 100 exhibitors at the first instance was targeted at enhancing the growth of MSMEs within the Lagos West Senatorial district.
Senator Adeola used the opportunity provided by the fair to hint participants and invited guests about the achievements made so far with the Local Content Law.
He assured that within a short period Nigeria will begin to see the benefits of the Law as more citizens will be fully involved in the production processes with local materials, thereby saving the economy the flight of funds occasioned by importation of goods and services.
The Distinguished lawmaker also promised that the MSMEs will equally benefit much from government with favorable and low interest rates on loans by the time Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu emerges as President in February, 2023.
Senator Adeola Yayi said that a look into the plans of the Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress showed that he has so much in the pipeline for the MSMEs and so there is need for him to voted for, in order to have the mandate to create wealth for MSMEs under a conducive business environment.
“Over the years, I have facilitated the training of thousands of constituents in various vocational skills acquisition and entrepreneurship development programmes, all aimed at local production of goods and services. Some of the beneficiaries of these programmes are in business as well as engaging other Nigerians in gainful employment in the vast pool of MSMEs of Lagos West.
“The Lagos West Fair 2022 with 100 exhibitors at the first instance is targeted at enhancing the growth of MSMEs within the Lagos West Senatorial district. With a population of over 12 million people making up over half of Lagos Mega City, Lagos West will definitely have the largest number of MSMEs in Nigeria and there is need to encourage and showcase their products as alternative to costly imported goods and services.
“I am therefore, facilitating these staggered exhibition/fairs across the two divisions of Lagos West namely, Ikeja and Badagry Division. This is in collaboration with the Federal Cooperative College, Oji River and Federal Cooperative College, Ibadan.
“There is no doubt about the benefits of this programme in promoting our local production not only for exhibitors but also the citizenry. Most of our locally made goods can compete favourably with others but more importantly, they tailor-made to serve the purpose for which they were made at a lesser cost. In this programme, exhibitors have opportunities of reaching many customers, leveraging their products for export as well as networking for mutually beneficial integration. There are also opportunities for sales and orders from direct consumers of products on display.
“Furthermore, there is also the benefit of acquisition of knowledge by the exhibitors with opportunities to learn from industries giants through the incorporation of Symposium, Seminars, sensitization and question and answer sessions involving relevant Public and Private sector players to identify the critical areas of supports, most especially as it pertains to providing an enabling environment for the MSMEs.
“Let me conclude by saying that most foreign made goods are no longer affordable on account of the rate of our currency to foreign currencies. Happily, most of these goods now have locally made ones. This is the time to patronize our locally made goods with all its benefits for the economy and the stabilization of our currency’s value.”
In his welcome address, the Provost, Federal Cooperative College Oji River, Dr Owan Obodoagu Tonica, ably represented by Mr. Okeze Idowu, the Director of Procurement said that the fair was a unique communication tool, which will remain a key in the marketing mix in the future.
He pointed out that the Lagos West Fair 2022 was targeted at enhancing the growth of the MSMEs within the Lagos West Senatorial District as it is a known fact that SMEs across the globe are critical engines of economic growth and major contributor to the nation’s GDP.
He thanked Senator Adeola for collaborating with the College to host the fair as a way of promoting the locally manufactured products as well as encouraging patronage by Nigerian and even attracting foreign customers.
He highlighted that the fair will equally afford the exhibitors the opportunity to turn product presentations into customer experiences, serve as a springboard for innovation, and boost export while encouraging networking and collaborations. Exhibitors were also charged to maximize every opportunity the fair avails them.
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