The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has called on Nigerians to patronise locally-made products to grow the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
The governor gave the charge at the commissioning of JARA, the first indigenous discount store in South-South, in Benin City, the Edo State capital.
He said the discount store was established through a Private Public Partnership (PPP) between the Edo State Government through the Edo Development and Property Agency (EDPA) and JARA (EDLP Nigeria Ltd) to boost local manufacturing and sales of made in Nigeria products at affordable prices. “Nigerians should support local brands as the country cannot continue to depend on importation,” he noted.
Obaseki added that the discount store is a building block in the development of organised outlets where locally-manufactured goods would be sold, adding, “With the closure of the border, we now manufacture what we consume and for us in Edo, we are planning to organise an outlet where our locally-manufactured goods can be sold. Our poultry farmers will have a market to sell.”
He said the state government plans to stimulate the setting up of at least between 10 to 20 discount stores in the state, urging Local Government chairmen to make land available where developers can build the stores.
Noting that JARA is a product of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that has become a reality, he said, “People call us an MoU government, but our MoUs are yielding results.”
Managing Director, JARA, Mr Williams Smollaerts said the outfit is a discount market that sells products for everyday needs to consumers, noting that the shopping centre is not a substitute to existing markets in the state but an addition to ordinary markets.
“We want to enable our customers save money as they shop for their everyday needs,” he said.
He added that JARA’s social corporate responsibility scheme is in the form of a partnership with Edo Skills Development Agency (EdoJobs) to provide employment for Edo people.
Executive Chairman, Edo Development Property Agency (EDPA), Ms Isoken Omo said JARA stocks made-in-Nigeria products at affordable prices and that it is open to agricultural producers in the state to sell their products.