Senate President,

To further ensure compliance, Saraki has created a Made in Nigeria desk in his office for effective interaction with citizens on ways to identify local manufacturers whose products deserve patronage by government agencies.

This was disclosed by Saraki’s Special Assistant on New Media and Director of the Made in Nigeria Desk, Bamikole Omishore during a speech at the Made in Nigeria Fashion Exhibition Cocktail & Dinner at the Nigerian Floor of Dunes Center in Abuja.

Read his full speech below:

I bring you greetings from the President of The Senate and Chairman of the National Assembly, Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki, CON. It gives me great joy to attend this fashion exhibition that showcases the proud heritage and beautiful culture of our dear country, Nigeria.

This 4th floor set aside by the management of Dunes Center, as a special center for Made In Nigeria products, is indeed a step in the right direction, serving as a venue where people across the world can come to patronize made-in-Nigeria goods. It is a beautiful platform, which will make the creator and managers proud because you are simply making history without you knowing.

At this critical state of our economy, I am delighted to see that the private sector which you represent share with the Senate president his dream and the quest to revolutionize our industrial sector by thinking outside the box to create patronage for our home made products, challenge local producers to be ingenious and more creative.

We want to create a momentum, which ultimately will lead to improved quality of goods and standard of living for our people.

You will agree that our country is in need of innovative ways to build a healthy, self-reliant and diversified economy that makes local businesses thrive, creates more job, encourage creativity, reward ingenuity, spread prosperity, ends recession and entrench sustainable development.

In February 2016, His Excellency attended the Made In Aba Trade Fair, here in Abuja, where he had the opportunity to interact with local manufacturers who use locally made materials for various manufactured goods, all Made in Nigeria.

At the event, challenges faced by the manufacturers were shared with him and ultimately; requests were made on how the National Assembly can assist. Some of the issues were lack of patronage by government, access to funding, difficulties surrounding business registration, multiple taxation, and infrastructure, to name a few. Senate President did assure that the 8th Senate and the National Assembly under his leadership is determined to address the challenges.

Today, I am glad to announce that in June 2016, Senate passed the Public Procurement Act, which now stipulates that government agencies SHALL patronize made in Nigeria goods, cut down the amount of time undergone to approve government contracts, and increase the percentage of mobilization fee. Without an iota of doubt, this amendment will increase government's patronage of Made in Nigeria goods thereby putting more money in the pockets of Nigerian businesses and further stimulate our economy.

In order to ensure a continuous success, Senate President created a Made In Nigeria Desk in his office where there is effective interaction with the Nigerian people on ways to identify local manufacturers whose products deserve patronage by government agencies.

On this commitment, his office will work with all Senate Committees to ensure that, as part of oversight functions, government agencies make Made in Nigeria goods their first option during procurement.

In addition, Senate and indeed all arms of government will continue to focus and collaborate on areas that will loosen the structural bottlenecks that are impeding the ease of doing business in Nigeria.

In the ongoing 2017 Budget Appropriation defence, we have identified almost 400 line items that fall under Made In Nigeria goods and we have, so far, engaged several Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) on why they should patronize locally produced goods at the point of budget implementation.

Let me also inform you that the 8th Senate is organizing a Made in Nigeria Business Round Table (NASSBER) and a Made In Nigeria Exhibition in partnership with government agencies, Civil Society Organizations and entrepreneurs to address the grey areas needed to enable the sustainability of the Made In Nigeria Initiative.

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Finally, to everyone exhibiting today, you have the assurance of the Senate President that the Senate will support all Nigerian based entrepreneurs utilizing Made In Nigeria goods to see how we can further create an enabling environment that will support your business so that as you grow, more jobs will be provided for our teeming youth and thereby contribute to the growth of our economy.

Thanks, and God bless you all.