1. Dear Sir,

    I am sincerely delighted with the promises and how our present Minister for Industry is going about changing the economy of the Nation. I criticized the past government industry strategies and ignorance but instead of taking my suggestions, I became unpopular with them. Apart from the minister’s commitment to business growth in Nigeria, the article I have just read few minutes ago in the SundiataPost, where the Minister promised to launch Made-in-Nigeria Products wonderful. This has been my dream and I have been a sole campaigner. For instance this is my article in Nigeria BusinessDay of 15/12/11 as follows:


    “Made-in-Nigeria, panacea for unemployment

    How can we keep buying products that are imported if we have no jobs? I keep hearing people complain about not having a job or that their brothers or sisters or children who left the university three years ago have not got jobs. Other graduates who secured something are working in small hotels as waiters, porters and some others are doing “odd jobs” in their own country. Yet most of these people and their relatives refuse to buy made-in-Nigeria goods for one reason or the other. But it is high time we started being proud of our country. It is time we started embracing the spirit of nationalism. It is time we started patronising made-in-Nigeria goods.
    The early European philosophers invented the “nation” ideology. As stated on page 36 of my book, “On first opening his eyes, a child must see his country, and until he dies, must see nothing else”. This was the beginning of nationhood, and how the European philosophers used it to inculcate spirit of nationalism in their people. But in the case of Nigeria, nationhood started when we got our political independence from the colonial masters. Our fathers and mothers did not get the Nigerian independence on a platter of gold. Some of our parents died in the process of actualising the nationhood but the question is, is our own generation actually embracing the spirit of nationalism like our parents? Or did it evaporate with the political independence given to us? This spirit of nationalism originated from medieval times in England and has been practised by all nations of the world ever since. But our people prefer foreign made goods instead of our national goods. Our leaders prefer to take our money abroad instead of using or giving it to those who could use it to create employment for others. Where are we headed? My English friend, Dr Michael Brown, once asked me, “Lawrence, why are some of your leaders committing more harm to your nation than those committed by your colonial masters”. Then I asked him “how?” and he added, “Our fathers went to Nigeria and stole your resources, brought them to Europe and used them to develop our countries but your own leaders are doing the same thing – by stealing your money and bringing them to Europe too. My simple answer was “lack of spirit of nationalism”.
    There is a catalogue of such examples but every one of us has a role to play in order that we could embrace the spirit of nationalism like every other country in the world today. No government in the world can, on its own, create all the required jobs by its citizens. All they do is make the environment conducive for the private sector to thrive. That conducive environment includes protection of citizens from the threat of being unemployed due to other countries’ “dumping” strategies. As a result of this, many governments all over the globe have adopted import policies that can ameliorate the dumping strategies of the more advanced nations. But in some nations such as Nigeria, import policy has failed just because of inadequate border control. But the most effective national policy should be “foreign goods abstinence”. We do not need the Federal Government to initial this for us. I am not even sure that they, like India and China governments, can support this movement.
    The recent foreign policies have left me wondering if our government is not subservient and a puppet of the West. For example, on the Nigeria Guardian newspaper of May 18, 2011 was the issue of the Nigerian government being engaged with American officials on the issue of intellectual property rights in Nigeria. Yes, the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) regime protects the rights of inventors of products, but the West is using it to widen the technological gap between them and the African countries. Who knows what they have agreed with the Americans? America was not able to stop China from copying Western products but do the Nigeria leaders know the meaning of sovereignty or spirit of nationalism?
    My purpose of writing this is not to highlight the Federal Government policy failures but to say that every one of us in Nigeria should play a role in fashioning the future of this great nation, Nigeria, by abstaining from the consumption of some foreign goods. By so doing, we would be buying goods made in Nigeria and patronising the private sector, that will in turn be creating employment opportunities for our brothers, sisters and relations who are unemployed.
    So what do we do? Simple. We must stop loving foreign goods more than made in Nigeria goods. This is patriotic boycotting, as you are not forced to take such a decision. No one is compelling you and government is not interested. It is you who have to be proud of such decision – to patronise made-in-Nigeria goods instead. Without taking this option, there is no amount of federal loan, no amount of foreign direct investment, no amount of good governance, no amount of government measures that will create adequate jobs, reduce crimes and alleviate poverty in this land of plenty”

    Madam, let me know if you need my support. I can be contact on 44/7417554143 (London) or [email protected]
    Lawrence U. Ekeh (Author: Industrialization and National Prosperity (lessons for Developing Countries)


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