Written by Austine ELEMUE

Abuja to host Proudly Nigeria Expo in Sept

The Federal Capital Territory is to play host to the maiden edition of the Proudly Nigeria Expo aimed at patronizing made in Nigeria goods and services. 
The seven-day event slated to hold from 5-11 September, 2016 is to showcase the potential and opportunities that exist in Nigeria, trainings on start-ups and small businesses generally. 
Addressing journalists as part of activities to mark the event, the convener, Mrs. Jumai Ahmadu, called for sustained advocacy to tame the appetite of most Nigerians for foreign goods, stressing that buying Nigeria goods stimulate the local economy given that all economic growth starts at the community level. 
"Patronizing local goods helps the farmer, trader, artisan to stay in business. Why should people buy imported eggs when the nutritional value is not different from eggs produced locally? Why should scarce forex be used for goods that can be produced locally and drive our economy for imported ones? 
"Being Proudly Nigeria guarantees job security. If we do not patronize our own goods and services, how do we ensure people stay employed and those looking for jobs are employed"? She queried. 
Ahmadu also queried the issue of local content by foreign companies in Nigeria, noting that it is inconceivable that they bring staff from their own country, when Nigerians can as well render these services. 
According to her, "For Proudly Nigeria, it is not just a one-off expo but an advocacy, a continuous messaging that Nigerians should buy made in Nigeria goods, patronize local services and get government to ensure that the local content quota is adhered to by foreign companies doing business in Nigeria. 
"It is curious to find individuals and businesses that would not even employ a Nigerian nanny or driver rather employ people from other African countries. In the building sector, it is even worst as some builders would not recruit Nigerian masons, tillers and other artisans in that sector, rather will use artisans from somewhere else. Most often than not, those who do this act on the base assumptions that Nigerians in those trade are not good enough. Experience brings perfection!"

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