LCCI, Traders Promote Made in Nigeria, Agro Products

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By; MATTHEW UKACHUNWA, Lagos.
The promotion of made in Nigeria products and sustainable agriculture was the main focus of the 2016 Lagos International Trade Fair (LITF) which ended recently.
Innovations introduced by Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), organizer of the fair, to accomplish the target included:  Business To Business (B2B) exhibition and Eko Akete Cultural Manifest, in addition to the general interest fair.
The theme of the fair: “Positioning The Nigerian Economy for Diversification And Sustainable Growth” also highlighted the specific thrust of the event.
Merchants interviewed by our reporter spoke in sync with LCCI authorities on made in Nigeria and agro-products.
“There are so many products that are made in Nigeria that are the best quality, like electrical wires,” said Chief (Dr.) Anthony Ohagwu, former President of Auto Spare Parts and Machinery Dealers Association (ASPAMDA).
Expressing satisfaction with the quality of made in Nigeria goods, Ohagwu maintained that Nigeria’s electrical wires are of the highest standard in the world.
“We thank God that in the areas where we are producing, we’re doing fine.”  The ex-leader ASPAMDA leader continued:  “We cannot after being the biggest go bck to being the smaller. We’ll continue to move up to the standard that Dubai, Taiwan  are made up of.  We have a future; we’re going somewhere.’
He, however, kicked against ban on the importation of building materials and other items by the federal government in order to compel Nigerians to patronize home-made ones.
In his view, the banning is not the solution, even as he asserted that it is wrong to ban importation without putting cushioning effects in place.
“No, things are not done like that!” exclaimed the ex-leader of the biggest auto spare parts market in West Africa.  He stressed importation must be banned but that there has to be proper arrangement to address its negative impact on the people and the economy.
Ohagwu commended the efforts made by products standard regulatory and monitoring agencies such as SON, NAFDAC, and other consumer protection organizations to ensure that fake products are not soldin Nigerian markets.
Mr. Ebere Ifejeme, President of Agric Coker Building and Plumbing Materials Dealers Association (ACBPMDA), Lagos corroborated Ohagwu’s statement.    “Government agencies are in place to make sure that inferior goods and products are not in our markets, he explained.
Ifejeme commended local and indigenous companies that produce building materials in the country.
According to him, the quality and price of home-made goods are dependable and affordable, adding that they also have satisfactory patronage.
“The Nigerian market is big, no one source of supply can satisfy its demand and supply needs,” said the trade.  “I give kudos to Nigerian industries.”
Alhaji Jibril Magaji, patron/pioneer chairman of Shekurah Yam Sellers Association, Mile 12, Lagos State, disclosed that the progress being made in food crops production in Nigeria is impressive, adding that other countries come to buy produce from Nigerian markets.
The Wakili, Seriki Marfa, therefore called on all tiers of government in the nation to implement their plans of action on sustainable food production and distribution to boost agro-allied economy of the country.
Magaji also urged respective authorities to continue to improve the standard of market environments in the country and provide the need infrastructure in them.
He said that technology for the preservation of perishable produce has become necessary in order to avoid waste of these edible crops.

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