OBJ visits Omatek, pledges support for local OEMs
Former President of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has said he will continue to throw his weight behind local original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in Nigeria. He stated this while on a tour of the newly commissioned Omatek factory in Lagos. Obasanjo, a staunch supporter of indigenous products and technologies, argues that assembling of parts from other places that comes out in a complete form is a common practice with manufacturers all over the world. He urged the government to support local manufacturers through patronage to solve the problem of unemployment.
The former president initiated the Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) policies in 2003 during his administration that gave rise to Omatek Computers Ventures. Seeing the growth level Omatek has obtained, he expressed confidence that more successful SMEs could be created. “I want to congratulate and commend you because this organisation has got its ups and downs and you know I should know because I know the history of it and the difficulties. I am impressed with what I have seen,” he said.
He pointed out that Nigeria needs to start the process of backward integration in manufacturing that will ultimately provide more jobs. He urged banks in Nigeria to support local producers. “The country would have been more developed with banks helping the manufacturing sector. Any bank that is not helping production is not helping itself because when local producers succeed the money goes back to the banks,” said Chief Obasanjo.
While commending the management team of Omatek under Mrs. Florence Seriki, Obasanjo challenged local producers to not only concentrate on satisfying the local market also forage to the outside world by exporting their products. The Managing Director of Omatek, Mrs. Seriki pleaded with the former president to help in the fight for the patronage of locally-made products in the country, adding that the Omatek had extended its reach to Ghana, where it also had a factory.