President Muhammadu Buhari has on Friday declared the 2019 edition of the Lagos International Trade Fair open, while reiterating that Nigerians should continue to patronise locally -made products and services to grow the nation’ s economy.
The trade fair, which is being promoted by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry , will run till November 10 at the Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos.
Thousands of visitors and hundreds of both local and foreign exhibitors are expected to participate in the 33rd Edition of the fair which has the theme: “ Connecting Businesses , Creating Value.”
The president , represented by the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mrs Mariam Katagum, said that the Federal Government was committed to its mandate of providing assistance that would guarantee the growth of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises ( MSMEs ) .
According to him, this is to ensure that their products meet with acceptable global standards.
Buhari said: “To this end, I want to use this opportunity to reiterate my call for Nigerians to patronise Made-in- Nigeria products and services.
“ We must accept our new reality of promoting locally- made products , as it is evident that this is where our New Nigeria will be realised.
” That is why I have constantly emphasised that we must be a Nation where we grow what we eat and consume what we produce.
“ This has wonderfully led to a massive nationwide agricultural reawakening , which without a doubt remains our most viable option for economic diversification as a government and nation.”
The president said the focus of the government to diversify the economy using the private sector as an arrow head was ongoing through various efforts such as enhancing the Export Expansion Grant initiative.
He said the task to transform Nigeria into an industrial giant could not be achieved without the needed collaboration with the private sector to ensure an inclusive and sustainable path toward growth, job creation and economic development .
Buhari said that the non -availability of white – collar jobs had made it imperative for Nigerian youths to embrace entrepreneurship development which would make them to become economically empowered.
The president commended LCCI for organising the fair, which he described as a vital economic tool for the realisation of the government ’s agenda for the industrial upgrade and economic development of the country.
“ This will not only enhance business confidence but may also lead to an increased level of Foreign Direct Investment into our country,” he said.