Thursday, March 3, 2016

Senate Rejects Request to Make Nigeria Dumping Ground for Sub-standard Goods


  • Melaye attacks Oshiomhole for marrying foreign wife
    Mark takes oath of office sixth time, Ogembe first time


    • The Senate wednesday rejected a request seeking the resolution of the National Assembly to prohibit perceived moves to turn Nigeria into a dumping ground for sub-standard products. The request was raised after a motion by Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe which advocated the need to patronise made-in-Nigeria goods.
      Abaribe had in the motion, recalled that between 1960s and 1970s, the Nigerian economy thrived mainly on the export of made-in- Nigeria products. During the period, he said the number of industries shutting down was less than 10 per cent while Nigerians mainly consumed what was produced locally.
      He lamented that reverse is the case today where he said no fewer than 80 per cent of businesses have shut down.
      Regretting that Nigeria now consumes “what it does not produce,” Abaribe said trading in foreign and imported goods is now the order of the day while the resultant output has been a negative balance of trade and closure of a number of companies.
      He added that in 1990, Nigeria had over 170 developed textile industries which employed between 20,000 and 100,00 workers, lamenting that only about 12 are still in operation today.
      The Senate therefore asked the federal government to initiate and implement what it called first option policy on the purchase of locally manufactured products for any government procurement in all arms of government as well as every organisation funded by the public.
      It also resolved to amend the Procurement Act with a view to ensuring that agencies of government and institutions funded by the public adopt made-in-Nigeria goods’ first option policy and consideration first given to local industries before any other.
      However, Senator Adeola Olamilekan (Lagos West) came up with another prayer, seeking a Senate resolution that Nigeria should not be allowed to serve as dumping ground for sub-standard products.
      The prayer was expected to serve as a signal to those who flood Nigerian markets with substandard products from foreign countries that it would no longer be business as usual and simultaneously put them under check.
      But the prayer was thrown out by an overriding voice vote, a situation described as a dramatic irony in view of the issue being considered.
      In an unrelated development, Senator Dino Melaye (Kogi West), while contributing to the motion, took a swipe at the governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, saying Nigerians should not emulate the governor whom he said opted not to “patronise made in Nigeria women but a foreign one.”
      Melaye was referring to Iara, wife of Oshiomhole whom he recently married from Cape Verde. He therefore advised Nigerians not to only patronise made in Nigeria goods but also made in Nigeria women.
      Also yesterday, former Senate President, David Mark, took the oath of service for a record sixth time as a senator following his victory at the February 20, 2016, Benue South senatorial rerun election.
      Mark was sworn in at 11 a.m. by Senate President Bukola Saraki amid solidarity by his admirers who took their turns to welcome him back with hugs and exchange of banters.
      In the same vein, Ahmed Ogembe, who won Kogi Central senatorial rerun election same day with Mark on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was also sworn in for the first time.
      Meanwhile, the Senate has asked the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) to extend the validity period for admission into tertiary institutions from the current one year period to three years.
      The resolution followed the presentation of the report of the Senate Committee on Tertiary Education by its Chairman, Senator Binta Marsi, which investigated the difficulties being encountered by applicants for admissions.
      The senators resolved that when adopted, candidates who cannot resume immediately they secure admission can apply for resumption with their admission letters within three years, announcing their readiness to resume.