Governor (Prof.) Chukwuma Soludo of Anambra State

Economy: Patronage of Made-in-Nigeria products can promote local inventors, says Governor

*Governor (Prof.) Chukwuma Soludo of Anambra State emphasises the most important thing that all Nigerian consumers can do to promote Science, Technology, Innovation and research is to patronise and promote local innovators

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

Governor (Prof.) Chukwuma Soludo of Anambra State has described patronage as the only way to encourage and promote Nigerian inventors and innovators.

ConsumerConnect learnt Prof. Soludo stated this at the National Innovation Workshop organised by the Senate Committee on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI), held during the weekend at the International Conference Centre, in Awka, Anambra State capital.

Some Made-in-Nigeria products in the market

In regard to the theme of the event, “Promotion of Local Inventors of Science, Technology and Innovation”, the governor noted Anambra State as one of the safest states in Nigeria and home of STI.

Describing STI as the new way of life, Soludo said “Anambra is the place for practical innovation. Anambra is the home to Nigeria’s first Automotive Industrial Park that will be located at Akwaihedi, Nnobi and Uga.”

The state government is on the verge of completing the first phase of the development adding that a bigger fundraising of over $250 Million will kick off the project, said he.

The Governor also said: “We are mainstreaming STI to fundamentally become a way of life particularly in our schools. “Every teacher will have the enabling technological tool to be able to impact our children.

“Part of our vision is to make Anambra the digital tribe of Nigeria.”

According to him, the most important thing that all of us can do to promote STI and research is to patronise local inventors.

The governor noted: “Everywhere else in the world, the Government and people patronise their own.”

Using Anambra as a standard, Soludo said that homemade products from the state are highly promoted.

If the product is produced and innovated in Anambra State, the government will patronise the producer, he assured.

Soludo further said: “When you look at me, the shoe I am wearing is made-in-Anambra.

“The cloth I am wearing is hand made by women in the Akwete community, Abia State.

“These women are innovators and inventors. “The only way to promote Akwete is to patronise the innovators.

“Since I started the Akwete revolution, the pricing per unit has increased and many more people have been employed in Akwete production.”

The Anambra State Governor also stated: “If they innovate, invent and nobody patronises them, it goes to nullity.

“When you come to Anambra Government House, we are not offering you imported wines.

“You will drink palm wine and eat food made in Anambra.”

He added: “When you wear the things that are imported abroad, you are creating jobs abroad because they will employ more people in order to manufacture those goods and ship them to you.

“And we will be crying about unemployment.

“The only car that is actually manufactured and not assembled in Nigeria is Innoson made in Anambra and that is the car the Governor of Anambra is driving.

“Hopefully, when this kind of event is organized next year, we should be able to showcase products made in Nigeria.”

Commending the Senate Committee-led Senator Uche Ekwunife for organising the workshop, Prof. Soludo prayed the message will sink in every nook and cranny of the country, even as he harped on the need for every state in the country to build the foundations for STI.

Speaking at the event, Senator Uche Ekwunife, Chairman of the Committee on STI,  expressed optimism that the workshop will continue to grow.

It would create synergy with the academia, industry and government, said the Federal legislator.

Ekwunife called for STI to be seen as a critical sector and more so, a key driver that would lead Nigeria to the path of industrialisation in Nigeria.

She said: “This workshop used to be held in Abuja but as Chairman of the Committee, I decided to bring it home.

“You can’t talk about innovation and invention without speaking about Anambra State.

“We have a Governor who since inception of his campaign, vowed to drive a made in Nigeria car.

“From the day he was sworn in, we were served ‘abacha’ and ‘nkwu’ as meal, his family wore Akwete, he kept to his promise.”

The lawmaker further noted: “We brought this workshop to Anambra to conform and align with Governor Soludo’s vision and aspiration, to be in tandem with the promises of his government.”

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