Local content policy’ll drive growth, says Obasanjo


Media Team

Latest Post

FORMER president Olusegun Obasanjo has commended the courage and doggedness of Mrs Florence Seriki as an entrepreneur in the nation’s fledgling IT industry despite of  gruelling challenges, saying that the local content policy, if well implemented, will drive spontaneous growth of the national economy.  Local content advocacy achieved front burner status during Chief Obasanjo’s eight-year tenure as President.

Chief Obasanjo made this remark when he visited Omatek’s new factory in Oregun, Lagos, and noted the challenges the company has gone through in the last few years. He expressed happiness that Mrs Seriki, an engineer who is Managing Director of Omatek Ventures was able to weather the storm and bring the company back to reckoning.

“Omatek’s new factory is a physical example of what a man can do, a woman can do better. I want to congratulate and commend you because I know this organization has gone through long challenges of finance, and you have endured. I know the history of this company and I know the difficulties it has faced in the last few years,” he said. According to him, it was Nigeria and all stakeholders in the economy began the process of backward integration.

“I believe that we need to now check the process of backward integration, so that if it is only what we produce locally that will make us provide more jobs for the unemployed, let us begin to encourage our own local industries,” he said. “This is how other countries that are self-sufficient today started,” he said.

He said that Omatek has proved beyond all reasonable doubt that the best thing to happen to this country is the development of local content policy which is capable of developing the local economy. “Our local content policy should be for every thing that is produced in this country; and you have proved before us that you are capable of developing local content,” he added.

Chief Obasanjo urged the banking sector to rise to the ocassion and support this policy by giving the needed support to the Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs).

To bankers, the former president said: “If you should do what you ought to have done, this country would move faster than it is,” he said. “If they do this, they will improve because the money that local industries make goes back to them. And if they now become major producers of what they are doing in Nigeria, West Africa and in Africa generally and export to other parts of the world, all the money would still go to the Nigerian banks for development.”

Obasanjo also noted that Nigerian banks have realised that one of the ways to remain in the business is when they help the SMEs to do better, because a bank that is not helping others, a bank that is not helping production, is not helping itself. “I believe that with the consolidation of banks, we now have stronger banks, strong enough to be more adventurous to help the growth of entrepreneurs in the country.

He specifically commended the Bank of Industry (BoI) on its achievement in helping the economy to grow throught its proactive response to the plight of the SMEs in the country. “We must enhance our production; we must encourage local production and we must also patronise our local products,” he said. “Bank of Industry has taken the responsibility of helping the industries, also because it has more funds. They need to do more locally and encourage the development of Nigerian producers to export Nigerian products.”

President Obasanjo praised President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration’s efforts at sustaining some of the policies of his administration.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Freedom of Information Act