OrderPaperToday – The senate has said it is committed to amending the Procurement Act to compel agencies of government and government funded institutions to adopt made-in-Nigeria goods as “first option policy.”
This followed a motion by Sen. Enyinnaya Abaribe (PDP-Abia South) during plenary on Wednesday.
The Senate accordingly urged the Federal Government to initiate and implement the First Option Policy on purchase of locally manufactured products for any government procurement.
Abaribe, while moving the motion, expressed concern that investment in the real sector had given way to trading in foreign and imported goods.
According to him, this has resulted to unfavourable balance of trade, and shutting down of local industries.
The senator recalled that Nigeria’s economy was dependent on made in Nigeria exports in the 60s and early 70s.
He said: “I recall that as at 1990, Nigeria had over 170 developed textile industries employing between 2000 and 10,000 workers each.
“Today, only 12 are still functioning, the resultant loss of opportunities and employments is anyone’s guess. The current depletion in foreign exchange earnings and foreign exchange available is a symptomatic effect of an import dependent economy, which is riddled with unemployment, negative balance of trade and low capital formation.’’
The lawmaker stressed that governments in other countries had developed and adopted varying measures of First Option Policy for their locally manufactured goods in their various countries.
In his remarks, the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, who presided over the plenary commended Abaribe for his commitment to promoting made-in-Nigeria products over the years.
He assured Nigerians that the National Assembly would not hesitate in amending the Procurement Act to ensure that MDAs patronised locally made products.
He therefore called relevant committees to expedite action on amendment of the Procurement Act before passage of the 2016 budget to give First Option to locally produced goods.