Jonathan Tasks Nigerians Over Locally Produced Goods

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Goodluck Johnathan

Goodluck Johnathan

Abuja — President Goodluck Jonathan Tuesday set the tone for patronising locally made goods when he formally presented made in Nigeria cassava flour bread which he said he will eat till he leaves power and charged Nigerians to tame their exotic taste for foreign goods.

He after presenting the bread which he said he has been eating for the past one week, directed the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economic Team, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Minister of National Planning, Shamsudeen Usman, Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr. Olusegun Aganga, Minister of Agriculture Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina and the Chief Economic Adviser to the President, Professor Nwanze Okidigbe to meet and fashion out policies that will grant incentives to users of the cassava flour in their production lines.

Jonathan after the presentation opened it and gave some to the Vice President and ate some before other members of the Council opened theirs and ate. He said preference for foreign goods was damaging the economy through importation which must stop for the economy to grow.

“When the Hon Minister brought some samples to me about a week ago and that is the only bread I have been eating since this past one week. I think it is proper for us in Council to formally present this bread to Nigerian. I have been eating this bread for the past one week and I will continue to eat only this bread until I leave State House.

“We must encourage what we have. Other countries that became great did not wake up one day and become great. If you look at the history of a country like China at a time they closed their door and restructured everything, begin to think again and by the time they opened their doors, the rest is known by all of us. For us as a nation to move forward we must also tame our exotic taste, we must tame our exotic taste. Some of the things we bring from outside is not even as good as what we even have within our country.

“And I believe with this, so many of the people who produce bread will start to use different per cent ages of cassava flour. After this presentation, the Coordinating Minister of the economy will meet with Minister of National Planning, Minister of Trade and Investment, Minister of Agriculture and the Chief Economic Adviser to the President to come up with policies that we will adopt to encourage those who use cassava flour for their manufacturing processes and certain other activities that encourage the use of use cassava flour because we have to give them incentives to encourage them,” he said.

Jonathan further praised another snack which was made out of Cassava and bean which he said would be good for school feeding since it has all the components of balanced diet and charged that more insight should be given to how best to harness local resources to attend to local needs.

Earlier, Adesina had while introducing the product noted that Nigerian was the highest producer of cassava in the world with 34 million tons per annum but regretted that that she adds zero value to product locally.

He said processing the product will save Nigeria which spends N656 billion yearly on flour import, create jobs and put more money in the hands of Nigerian farmers which will in turn create wealth since it is a substitute that will be locally produced.

 

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