Fred Itua, Abuja

Proudly Nigerian Expo, in conjunction with Ministry of Science and Technology, Ministry of Trade and Investment, Abuja Enterprise Agency (AEA), Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) and FCT Social Development Secretariat (SDS), have called on stakeholders at all levels to harness grassroots innovation for speedy economic development, aimed at discouraging the importation of products that can be locally sourced.

Convener of 2019 Proudly Nigeria Expo and founder of Helpline Foundation for the Needy Abuja, Dr. Jumai Ahmadu, told newsmen in Abuja that the collaboration with various ministries and departments of government, will save Nigeria millions of naira and by extension, boost indigenous technology at grassroots level.

Dr. Ahmadu revealed that the foundation has concluded plans to stage this year’s 2019 Proudly Nigeria Expo between October 28 to November 2, 2019, with the theme: “Harnessing Nigeria’s Grassroots Innovation for Economic Diversification”.

She noted that the objectives of the 2019 Proudly Nigeria Expo is to among other things, promote and advocate made in Nigeria goods and services, to promote entrepreneurship development and revitalisation and diversification of the Nigerian economy.

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Other objectives according to the organisers include to accelerate development of commerce and industry, to promote direct attention to the role of private sector in the Nigerian economy and prospects for foreign and local investments in strategic areas.

According to her, “Helpline Foundation for the Needy Abuja, shares the same mission as that of the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment which is to build a better playing field for commerce in the entire nation.

“We believe that made in Nigeria goods and services can flourish even in the international community if small scale entrepreneurs, investors and innovators are given enabling environment. We at Helpline Foundation for the Needy, are assured that partnering with us in the 2019 Proudly Nigeria Expo will build exhibitor’s confidence in their Made-in-Nigeria goods and their services will be boosted.”

While fielding questions from newsmen on the outcome of 2016 Proudly Nigeria Expo, Ahmadu said: “We are passionate about the growth and development of indigenous technology. Since last edition, we have followed up progress reports of some of our exhibitors during the expo especially those young inventors.

“And it is our considered view that if we harnessed Nigeria’s grassroots innovation for economic diversification, it will speed economic development, and by extension reduce the pressure on the naira.”