Lagos state Governor Babatunde Fashola Stated on Thursday said the country stood to gain a lot if citizens patronized locally produced goods.
The governor made the statement while speaking at the state’s 6th Artisans and Tradesmen Day celebration.He said that patronage of Made-in-Nigeria goods would enhance local production capacities, resulting in job creation and reduction of poverty.
Fashola pointed out that unbridled appetite for imported goods by citizens not only hurt the economy, but also promoted poverty.
“The answer to poverty and unemployment lies in three words : Made-in- Nigeria .
“As long as we make more things in Nigeria, it would mean that many factories and production units are functioning.
“As long as they are functioning, it would need hands to keep them in operation and that is what will create employment, reduce unemployment and ultimately reduce poverty,” he said.
Fashola said the state had done a lot in the area of entrepreneurship and skills promotion to boost employment.
He said that the story at a time was that Togolese and Ghanians were doing most of the jobs in tiling, masonry and others, owing to dearth of local skills in those areas.
Fashola said with the training of artisans and residents on diversity of skills, local capacities had been enhanced and the story had changed.
Governor said the revival of the 5 technical colleges in the state had also helped to produce the much needed skilled manpower for the state’s development.
Fashola described the informal sector as very strategic to the survival of any economy, which informed the state’s support for artisans and tradesmen.
Fashola said a number of artisans had been trained on various areas of specialisation, to sharpen their skills and equip them to train others.
Governor, who noted that power supply remained a challenge to informal businesses, urged practitioners to form themselves in clusters to get government’s assistance.
He advised artisans and tradesmen to do their businesses only in approved places.
Mr Olawunmi Gasper, Executive Secretary, Lagos State Technical and Vocational Board, in his contribution, said no fewer than 2000 artisans and tradesmen had been trained by the board in the last one year.
He said the beneficiaries were trained in their different areas of specialisation and had been issued competency certificates.
Earlier, Special Adviser to the Governor on Commerce and Industry, Mr Seye Oladejo, said no fewer than 9,780 artisans in various trades and vocations had been trained so far by the government.
He said the gesture was to make the beneficiaries more competitive and bring about improvement in what they produced.
Mr Bola Sanusi, President, Lagos State Association of Artisans and Tradesmen, thanked the government for is consistent support for the association.
He said the various forms of support had helped members of the association to grow their businesses and operate competitively.
The News Agency of Nigeria(NAN)reports that the occasion was well attended by tradesmen and artisans of various vocations who dressed in colourful attires.