‘Post Covid-19 should spur patronage of Made-In-Nigeria products for economic revival’
President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) Onome Joy Adewuyi has called on Nigerians to use lessons from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic as a springboard to embrace and patronise “Made in Nigeria” products.
The lack of a cure or vaccine for the Covid-19 has seen it drastically change the social, political and economic beliefs in Nigeria and indeed the world.
Adewuyi observes that one of the great lessons from the Covid-19 pandemic and the attendant lockdown was the ingenuity displayed by Nigerians by producing their own face masks, water/soap dispensers, sanitizers, personal protective equipment and ventilators.
Speaking in Lagos during a parley, Adewuyi noted that the period of the lockdown points to the huge human capacity and creativity that exists in Nigeria, adding that the spirit of WE CAN DO IT must be embraced, propagated and seriously encouraged.
While calling on the government to latch in on this to drive national economic revival, the ICAN president advised that the effort should be reinforced through more investment in tertiary institutions to fine tune these inventions.
Adewuyi advised that diversification of the national source of foreign exchange must be done not only in words and plans but in real investment in infrastructure. She said Nigeria must evolve a strategy for the export of intangible human expertise to drive its development. She also posited that the nation should create business hubs based on specialization in different zones of the country.
“While agriculture is key and should be mechanized, except the nation adds value to its products before export, we would continue to be at the mercy of our trading partners. We need to process our agricultural products to add value and earn foreign exchange,” she said.
“Since the lockdown prevented many people and corporate entities from going about their value-creating activities, the hardest hit were SMEs, SMPs and other players in the informal sector.
Adewuyi, therefore, called on governments to focus on how to support these entities and people who contribute the most to national economic growth, adding that most of the Small and medium enterprises and SMPs might have consumed their capital in order to survive.
“There is a need for them to be given one-year interest-free loans by development institutions so that they can revive their businesses. When they start to grow and prosper, they will pay back the loans while the government will reap taxes from them,” she suggested.
On steps to be taken to set Nigeria on the path of economic growth, the ICAN President explained that one of the banes of economic growth and development of Nigeria was over-dependence on oil and poor infrastructure such as power supply, roads, rail, health, education facilities and potable water.