In the wake of the devastating effects of the Coronavirus pandemic on the economy, business-owners in Ogun State should complement government’s strive in boosting its resources by substituting imported raw materials with locally sourced ones.
The State Commissioner for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mrs. Kikelomo Longe stated this during a chat with newsmen in her Office at Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, adding that entrepreneurs needed to creatively utilize the opportunities brought by the pandemic to their advantage, as this would also be of benefit to their customers.
“This pandemic is so pervasive that it is affecting everyone; raw materials sourcing, suppliers, consumer power, government at different levels have all been affected. However, we actually see good sides to it. In recent times, the exchange rate has gone up, this means that the cost of imports is higher and creates opportunity for import substitution. Manufacturers and small, medium entrepreneurs would do their businesses a lot of good by sourcing for their raw materials locally”, she said.
Mrs. Longe lauded the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for its decision not to sell Foreign Exchange to importers, noting that this policy would encourage patronage of locally made goods, increase in locally sourced raw materials, as well as significant improvement in the quality of staples.
She assured that the Prince Dapo Abiodun-led administration would continue to provide enabling environment and improve the ease of doing business in the State for the economy to thrive, adding that this had led to the establishment of the Ogun State Economic Transformation Project (OGSTEP).
The Commissioner also revealed that government would mitigate the effect of the pandemic on Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) by organizing different capacity building programmes, to empower them with required skills needed to overcome present challenges, open doors to funding and link manufacturers to markets.
Wale Osunbiyi & Ismail Oladipo,
Press Officers, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment