The National Board for Technology Incubation (NBTI) has urged entrepreneurs to partner with it to produce quality made in Nigeria products to fill the gap created by the ban on imported goods.
Mr Reuben Shagu, the Public Relations Officer, made the call in an interview the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Abuja.
Shagu said that the board regarded the entrepreneurs as partners in progress as it would always look out for them in terms of funding and in synergy with other agencies to enable them produce quality products.
He welcomed the ban on some imported goods into the country, saying that it would promote the patronage of locally made goods, especially by the entrepreneurs under the board’s mentorship.
“I want to encourage our entrepreneurs that they should not see NBTI as people who are coming to steal their ideas, but we are here to see how their products can be commercialised.
“The board has all the infrastructure and facility to help them flourish and it will be done in such a way that it will benefit them, humanity and improve on the economy of the country,’’ he said.
Shagu said that the initiative to ban some foreign goods that could be produced in the country would also help the country achieve economic stability, especially in the manufacturing sector.
He said that to make sure that the products met international standards, the board partnered with tertiary institutions to research on entrepreneurs’ products, especially those in the board’s Technology Incubation Centres.
“Most of our products are from universities, polytechnics, colleges of education and other conventional research institutes; this means that some of these products have been painstakingly researched into.
“Also, apart from adopting the researches of the tertiary institutions, we locate the entrepreneur; bring him or her into the centres.
“After this, we make sure that the institutions have an input to make sure that they produce products that are worth the while.
“I want to tell Nigerians that since we have made in Nigeria products, let us buy them, it will help our entrepreneurs and scientists do more.
“And it will not only help our economy, it will also help us to save a lot of money from foreign exchange.
“ So, the government’s ban on some imported goods like rice and other luxury items, I believe will help us look inwards and this will reduce capital flight to enable us build our own economy,’’ he said.
Shagu called on Nigerians not to always look down on made in Nigeria products, saying that the way people presented themselves was the way others would accept them.
“If we buy made in Nigeria products, even if they are not the high standard that we want in the finishing, by patronising them, the manufacturers will gradually improve their products,’’ he said.
NBTI currently has 27 Technology Incubation Centres across the six geo-political zones to nurture budding value-added and technology-based enterprises and speed up their commercialisation process.