Simon Asite, President, Delta Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry Mines and Agriculture (DACCIMA), has urged the Federal Government to start adding value to local produce, before their exportation.
Asite told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Warri that the development would help to address the lingering foreign exchange deficit in the country.
He added that the initiative would also help to shore up the value of the Naira.
Asite also called on the Federal Government to ensure that the various agencies saddled with the responsibility of monitoring standards, lived up to their mandates, so that the nation’s local produce could be packaged to meet international standards.
“It is not just enough to diversify the economy, but to create a platform, begin to look inwards to develop and ensure that some value is added to our local produce.
“That way, government should be able to create a value chain for our produce and products and ensure that they are packaged to meet international standards.
“It will help to improve our economy, boost foreign exchange and also create jobs,’’ he said.
Asite, however, commended the Federal Government for taking the bold step to diversify the economy, adding that it had been long overdue.
“A country that operates a monolithic economy can easily run into hitches when the major source of funding the economy begins to depreciate or lose value at the global market,’’ he said.
The DACCIMA boss urged the government to ensure that the diversification policy was fully implemented, to save the country from overdependence on oil.
Asite also appealed to government to provide sustainable electricity to boost local manufacturing and also encourage the growth of the Small and Medium Scale businesses, which he described as drivers of major economies in the world.