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Obaseki urges manufacturers to produce what Nigerians consume

Obaseki urges manufacturers to produce what Nigerians consume

Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has called for synergy among stakeholders in the manufacturing sector to ensure that the country produces what it consumes so as to reduce over-reliance on importation.

Obaseki stressed that Nigerians can no longer afford to import commodities because of the rising prices of the items, warning that if the nation does not begin to manufacture what it consumes, then it will be faced with trouble in the coming years.

The governor gave the charge at a workshop organized by Manufacturing Africa and Edo State Investment Promotion Office (ESIPO), at the Government House on Tuesday in Benin City.

“The situation that we are in Nigeria today is so critical; critical not only because we are a poor country, but because the bulk of what we consume is imported. There is no manufacturing. That was okay when we had money to import, but today we don’t,” Obaseki said.

The governor, who frowned at the lack of investment culture to encourage investors in the country, reassured his administration’s commitment to making the investment process easy by creating an enabling environment for them to thrive.

Read also: Obaseki earmarks N14.1bn for healthcare in 2022

“We will create the environment and make the land available; we will make infrastructure available and ensure government agencies put the investment processes in place. We challenge you to bring investors to us and see how the process will work.

“Why are we not manufacturing today? It is because the government and civil servants are not leading in that drive to encourage investors. When investors come to set up a business, it appears like you are doing the investors a favour, and most times, they don’t even know where to go, they go from one ministry to another.

“The ministry will just make things difficult for the investor. The process of doing business or manufacturing is difficult already, and because of our import mentality, we caused obstacles on the way. We have not had an investment culture for a long time.”

“We are not welcoming investors, particularly in the manufacturing investment area. From when I became a governor, I made it clear that one of our priorities is to empower young people, focusing on job creation. But who is going to provide the jobs? Is it the government? That’s not possible, as the majority of the jobs in the society are created by private businesses,” he added.

Earlier, Yasmin Osaghae, the country coordinator, Nigeria manufacturing Africa, said the organization is keen on how best to drive investment in Edo.

Osaghae pointed out that it was necessary to assist the state in removing bottlenecks that impede investments in order for investors to seamlessly set up in the state.