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Let’s manufacture what we consume – Obaseki

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Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo has advocated that Nigeria needs to start manufacturing what the citizens consume to curb excess funds spent on importation.

Obaseki stated this in Benin on Tuesday while declaring open a workshop organised by Manufacturing Africa and Edo State Investment Process.

“The situation we’re in Nigeria today is so critical, critical not because we are poor country, but because the chunk of what we consume are imported; there is no manufacturing.

“That was okay when we had money to import; today we don’t, the price of imported items will keep going up; many Nigerians will not be able to afford these, many people will go into poverty.

“The solution is that we now have to begin to manufacture what we consume; if we don’t, we will be in trouble in the next few years.

“Why are we not manufacturing today; because government and the civil servants are not leading in that drive to encourage investors,’’ he said.

The governor alleged that when investors set up business, it would seem as if they were being favoured because they moved from ministry to another.

“The ministry will say they don’t have this form and the process of making manufacturing is difficult already.

“Because of our import mentality we cause obstacles on the way, we have not had investment culture for a long time.

“We are not welcoming investors, particularly the manufacturing investment area.

“From when I became a governor, I made it clear that our priority are young people.

“It’s about jobs; who’s going to provide the jobs, government? It’s not possible, the jobs in the society have created businesses.

“We hope that this exercise will take us a step forward, we make our commitment as a government that whatever it’s going to take to encourage and make investments process easy are what we will do.

“We will create the environment, make the lands and infrastructure available and government agencies to put investments process in place.

“We challenge you to bring investors to us and you will see how the process will work,” he said.

Earlier, the Country Coordinator, Nigeria Manufacturing Africa, Mr Yasmin Osaghae, said that the members were keen on how best to drive investment in Edo.

Osaghae stressed that it was necessary to assist the state achieve global best standards in removing bottle necks for investors to set up seamlessly.

Monday Ajogun

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