Acting President Yemi Osinbajo is expected to lead other dignitaries to inaugurate the 2017 edition of a multi-event Nigerian Brands Carnival to showcase Nigerian-made goods and services.
Project Coordinator of Nigerian Brands Carnival organising committee, Mr. Adegboyega Ojuolape, announced this at a media briefing in Abuja on Friday.
He explained that over 295,000 patrons would attend the week-long event scheduled to commence on October 23, 2017, with a charity soccer match. According to him, the event is coming against the backdrop of the need for Nigerians to begin to celebrate, patronise and connect their economic prosperity to that of the success of Nigerian brands.
Ojuolape said, “If Nigeria is to succeed as a country and occupy a place of pride in the comity of nations, citizens must begin to find a way to consume most of the products and services that are produced locally.
“The Nigerian Brands Carnival is coming against the backdrop of the recent economic recession which saw the purchasing power of Nigerians drop drastically due primarily to the high demand for foreign exchange determined products and services from countries other than Nigeria, following the free fall of the Naira against other international currencies.
“As private sector players, we have seen the need to support the efforts of government in its quest to get citizens to patronise Nigerian products and services.”
The coordinator charged the Federal Government to lead by example by ensuring that Nigerian-made goods and services are given the pride of place during state and other functions.
He stressed that others would take a cue when they see that foreign products do not take the shine where there are Nigerian alternatives.
In response to a question on the issue of quality, Ojuolape said the whole essence of the carnival is to present to Nigerians the fact that the country has come of age in terms of the quality and packaging of its locally made products.
He said an increasing number of Nigerian products and services are beginning to hold their own against the foreign competition in terms of quality, while noting that the nation and its entrepreneurs stand to benefit more when over 180 million citizens patronise them.
He expressed optimism that the nation was set for greater heights despite its lack of adequate power supply and other challenges. He, however, noted that despite the challenges, so many local and foreign investors were reaping bountifully from the business decisions they had taken years ago.
The event is also expected to feature local music, cultural displays, dance, drama, comedy exhibitions, as well as interactions between inventors, manufacturers and end users.