Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State says the country stood to gain a lot if citizens patronised locally produced goods.
The governor made the statement while speaking at the state’s 6th Artisans and Tradesmen Day celebration.
He said that patronage of Made-in-Nigeria goods would enhance local production capacities, resulting in job creation and reduction of poverty.
According to him, unbridled appetite for imported goods by citizens will not only hurt the economy, but also promotes poverty.
The Governor said the state had done a lot in the area of entrepreneurship and skills promotion to boost employment.
He explained that the story at a time was that Togolese and Ghanians were doing most of the jobs in tiling, masonry and others, owing to dearth of local skills in those areas.
Fashola said with the training of artisans and residents on diversity of skills, local capacities had been enhanced and the story had changed .
The governor said the revival of the five technical colleges in the state had also helped to produce the much needed skilled manpower for the state’s development.
He described the informal sector as very strategic to the survival of any economy, which informed the state’s support for artisans and tradesmen.
The governor, who noted that power supply remained a challenge to informal businesses, urged practitioners to form themselves in clusters to get government’s assistance.
He advised artisans and tradesmen to do their businesses only in approved places.
On his part, Executive Secretary, Lagos State Technical and Vocational Board, Mr Olawunmi Gasper, said no fewer than 2000 artisans and tradesmen had been trained by the board in the last one year.
He said the beneficiaries were trained in their different areas of specialisation and had been issued competency certificates.
The occasion was attended by tradesmen and artisans of various vocations who dressed in colourful attires.
Some of them, such as farmers, tailors, goldsmith and caterers, exhibited their products, making brisk business from visitors.