The Deputy Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Hon. Umar Jibrin Buba, has said Nigeria is at the verge of importing yams and other food stuffs if locally produced goods are still considered inferior.
Jibrin, who made the charge on Saturday in Lokoja while declaring open a five-day vocational training programme for 110 women selected from Lokoja and Kogi local government councils in Kogi State, charged Nigerians to patronize locally made goods so as to protect the local industry and create jobs for the youth describing it as the only indices that will quickly take the country out of recession.
According to him, the problem of unemployment, insecurity and poverty in the land were largely due to Nigerians’ preference for foreign products at the expense of locally manufactured ones and called for a change of attitude.
“Nigeria is backsliding as a nation. We cannot be importing toothpicks, gari, plastics and cutleries and expect our economy to grow. If care is not taken, we will soon be importing yams from China,” he said.
Jibrin, who is representing the Lokoja/Kogi Federal constituency in the House, sponsored the workshop in partnership with the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN).
He explained that the bill on Made in Nigeria goods recently sponsored by him was to compel all federal ministries, agencies and departments to patronize locally manufactured goods, stressing the need for Nigerians to team up with the Federal Government in its quest to reorder the economy.
He said that change promised by the ruling All Progressives Congress ( APC) was not about sharing money to the people but about empowering Nigerians to witness positive changes in their lives.
The North Central Coordinator of SMEDAN, Mrs Charity Abah in her remarks said that the participants will be taking through training in soap and izal making and fish farming, processing and packaging. One of the participants, Mrs Rhamatu Mohammed commended Jibrin and SMEDAN for their efforts at helping her and other women to become self-reliant and bread winners.