Minister of Science and Technology, Ogbonaya Onu has revealed that Nigeria will start producing her own pencil within the next 2 years. Ogbonnaya hinted this during a facility tour of Projects Development Institute (PRODA) in Enugu State on January 5th. He added that the local manufacturing of pencils will create 400, 000 jobs for unemployed skilled Nigerians.
In his words:
“It is unthinkable that 55 years after independence, Nigeria is still not producing pencils when we have the human and material resources in the country. PRODA has to produce pencils for Nigeria and they have given me the assurance that this can be done and that with pencil manufacture here, we will be creating 400,000 new jobs. The (Muhammadu) Buhari administration is committed to creating new jobs and growing our economy,”
While, Nigeria is betting on providing solar power to a million homes within the next five years, it is quite appalling that a country known as one of the largest economy in Africa is yet to manufacture one of the least products in the market.
It makes one wonder if Nigeria does produce anything. From the ceiling fan, to cooking utensils and now, simple stationery. One can find a couple of stamps bearing “Made In — (any country that is not Nigeria)” more often than not. One can count on one hand the products Nigeria exports to foreign countries. More sadly, these products, such as crude oil and cocoa are exported so their end products can be imported back into the country.
In order to be a real agent of change, it would be best for President Muhammadu Buhari to make Nigeria less dependent on the products of other countries because this is one of the ways to make the economy thrive. It is difficult to believe that Nigeria imports pencils when there are local people making some in their backyards. The government has to invest in such skilled people, by providing them with adequate support. After all, if there are only Nigeria-made products in Nigeria, Nigerians will buy them.