Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has urged Nigerians, including governments at all levels to develop confidence and love for locally manufactured products in the country.
The Chairperson, of the Rivers/Bayelsa States Chapter of MAN, Mrs Emilia Ekama Akpan, made the appeal yesterday at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) press briefing of the association held in Port Harcourt.
Akpan who cited an instance of Nigerian Cable being the best in the world regretted that while Nigerian products are being admired outside the country, patronage of such products remains very low in the country.
The MAN boss who maintained that it was out of wrong and unfair perception that Nigerian products were being adjudged as substandard said, “our government should be the number one to buy and patronize our products”.
She equally challenged Nigerian media to be in the forefront of the campaign for promotion of the nation’s local products by emphasising on the attractive potentials that abound in Nigeria, especially in Rivers and Bayelsa States.
“Tell the world that about 70 per cent of the land in Rivers and Bayelsa has not been touched”, she remarked and stressed that by emphasizing on these untapped resources, investors would be attracted to come into the states to invest.
Akpan decried the poor state of power supply in the country saying manufacturers spend a large chunk of their fund in providing alternative supply to enable them produce.
According to her, because of the high cost of providing alternative power supply, the prices of the final products also increase to enable members remain in business.
She however rated Governor Rotimi Amaechi high on logistics especially on road construction stressing that the roads constructed by the Rivers State government have opened ways for producers.
At the Federal level, the MAN Chairperson said the transformation agenda of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan was promoting local production and that the commitment on railway revitalisation would ease movement of goods and reduce total cost of transportation.
She stated that the theme of the AGM scheduled to hold on Thursday October 23, 2014, “Developing SME’s in Rivers/Bayelsa States for Sustainable Development”, is most appropriate at this time in the life of the two states as it would promote local production, employment opportunities, more fund for government through taxation, and wealth creation amongst other numerous advantages.
The AGM would attract personalities in the business sector and the governors of Bayelsa and Rivers States are expected to honour the event while the President of MAN, Dr. Frank Jacobs, would be the guest of honour.