By Olabisi Olaleye
The Federal Government has been commended for its recent signing of an executive order compelling its agencies to purchase at least over 40 per cent Made-in-Nigeria goods and services.
Chairman of Zinox Group, Dr. Leo Stan Ekeh, who gave this at the weekend, said the move would go a long way in boosting indigenous businesses and the local content drive in Nigeria.
Ekeh explained that government’s move was a step in the right direction and a potential game-changer for many quality-minded local businesses in Nigeria.
“This announcement alone would have excited an army of 21st Century young Nigerian entrepreneurs who have been facing depression based on rejection of their certified products by government agencies and parastatals. It is a great development in our new Nigeria and I pray the Federal Government demonstrates the will to implement this to the letter in order to activate real and progressive development in the country. As you know, this policy direction will result in massive job creation for our youths.
“Granting preference to local manufacturers is a sure way of igniting the spirit of indigenous entrepreneurship. This is the standard the world over. Nigeria boasts of a number of world-class companies whose products can compete favourably with those of their foreign counterparts. The problem has always been the right form of support from the government.
“Zinox, for instance, is patronised by a number of multinationals. Apart from Chevron Nigeria, which remains one of our most regular customers, we have also enjoyed consistent patronage from other multinationals such as Total and Shell. Some of these companies – Chevron, Shell, Total – have been patronising Zinox for over 14 years and this is based purely on service quality as we all know the high standards these companies aspire to.”
Osinbajo had signed three Executive Orders giving specific instructions on a number of policy issues. They include the promotion of transparency and efficiency in the business environment designed to facilitate the ease of doing business in the country; timely submission of annual budgetary estimates by all statutory and non-statutory agencies, including companies owned by the Federal Government, and the support for local contents in public procurement by the Federal Government.
“Any document issued by any MDA of government for the solicitation of offers, bids, proposals or quotations for the supply or provision of goods and services shall expressly indicate preference to be granted to domestic manufacturers, contractors and service providers and the information required to establish the eligibility of a bid for such preference.
“All solicitation documents shall require bidders or potential manufacturers, suppliers, contractors and consultants to provide a verifiable statement on the local content of the goods and services to be provided.
“Made-in-Nigeria shall be given overwhelming preference or at least 40 per cent of the procurement spend on locally manufactured goods and services providers. Some priority items include uniforms and footwear, food and beverages, vehicles, pharmaceuticals, construction materials, ICT, furniture and fittings and stationery.
“Within 90 days of this order, the heads of MDAs shall assess the monitoring, enforcement, implementation and compliance with this Executive Order and Local Content stipulations in the Public Procurement Act, or any relevant act within their agencies,” the document had stated.