As a people, we have a collective job of bringing back the glory of our nation, Nigeria. We have a role in contributing our little and large to the GDP of this great nation. Yes, we all need to work with various industries to enhance their productivity, help them improve on the quality of their products and ensure that importation of substandard products is significantly reduced. With the made-in-Nigeria campaign, we are just on the right track.
You may ask, what are Made-In-Nigeria goods? Simply put, Made-In-Nigeria goods are goods produced or assembled in Nigeria. So, the renewed talk about Nigerians patronizing made-in-Nigeria goods and “services” (yes, services since everyone tend to focus on the goods and forget about services) is really making waves and for very obvious reasons. But as I mentioned earlier, “services”, as a Nigerian how satisfied are you with Nigerian services? Many families would not even employ a Nigerian nanny or driver. They would rather look for people from other African countries. Builders would not recruit Nigerian masons, they rather use artisans from somewhere else. What about when foreign companies set up businesses in Nigeria? They bring staff from their own country, when we can as well render these services and they even import materials (e.g cement) and other equipment from elsewhere and our officials look the other way. So, the matter is not as simple as just buying Nigerian goods, right? It is not about trending hashtags, slogans or propaganda, but a decision to move this country forward and ahead no matter how difficult it may seem and see what can work for the people’s benefit. We want to buy made in Nigeria goods no matter the challenges every sector may be facing and encourage start up businesses/manufacturers facing serious challenges and the more established manufacturers groaning in pain.
I consider that (challenges of Nigerian manufacturers) to be a subject in the heart of the future. What needs to be done is before our very own eyes, but its starting point must include our educational system. Very few parents these days still buy the services provided by Nigerian schools, the private ones that receive better patronage train the children to end up in foreign schools including schools in Ghana and Benin Republic. Nobody is training quality artisans either. In fact, all the Government Technical Colleges have all been shut down allowing many of our young men to become more interested in kidnapping and riding “okada”. Truth be told, the matter is so complex. This is the reason we must all work together to get Nigeria back to a normal state of wellness.
The number one man in Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, has urged Nigerians to buy products made in the country to stabilize domestic manufacturing and industrialization. According to him, his administration will implement essential reforms to protect Nigerian manufacturers from unfair competition from abroad. “We will no longer allow our markets to be flooded with things we can produce ourselves. We must believe in our system. Whenever you need my intervention at any time, please come to me, ” President Buhari told the permanent secretary of the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Abdulkadir Musa, and senior officials.
Also, the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonaya Onu has appealed to Nigerians to patronise Made in Nigeria goods, saying, that would be the only way to boost the economy and ensure the country develops.
Furthermore, the Minister said, “Nigeria as a nation has a bright future, if we can deploy science and technology in processing our natural products into finished products. Those products could be exported and the country will earn more foreign exchange. We need to increase the productivity of our people, job creation is very important. We have abundant resources, if we export them in raw forms, we will get little returns”.
With the nationwide campaign, right steps have been taken so far. For one, the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Hajia Aisha Abubakar, recently signed a partnership deal of a footwear production agreement between Global Smartfit Nigeria Ltd and Labora Shoes Ltd of South Africa. Of course, this is laudable and commendable and of course this will boost local manufacturers of foot wear products.
However, it appears there has to be a national re-branding campaign to change the taste of Nigerians who are loyalist for imported goods. A look at some of Nigeria’s economic indicators shows that there is a cause to worry and an urgent need to address issues affecting patronage of homemade goods. In fact, research shows that consumer confidence, business confidence, competiveness and corruption ratings affects the image of Made-in-Nigeria goods. On the quality of locally made goods, the Kaduna State Coordinator of the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON), Alhaji Abba Bauchi, recently announced that 477 companies out of the 561 companies inspected in the state failed the routine certification of the organization.
Bauchi disclosed that only 84 of the companies met the criteria for quality certification and this data paints a picture of how serious companies operating in Nigeria take issues of quality of products they produce.
Also speaking recently in Abuja, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Aliyu Aminu Bisalla, said people want value for their money and that, that was one of the reasons Nigerians resist substandard products produced locally.
Bisalla argued that Nigeria has what it takes to produce unique goods that can compete all over the world. Bisalla cited an instance where electric cables that are Nigerian made are patronized than imported ones and foreign consumers are now coming into the country to purchase the cables.
The acting Director General of the SON, Dr Paul Angy, on his part, noted that many of the imported goods, which Nigerians prefer are actually inferior to locally produced items.
He maintained that imported goods were more likely to be adulterated than locally manufactured goods as the organization monitors the production processes of local industries to ensure that quality and standards are maintained.
Also, as an incentive for the development of homemade products, imports must be checked as Nigeria’s huge import bills are killing local industries.The Foreign Trade Statistics released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) from the fourth quarter of 2014 to the third quarter of last year, revealed that Nigeria spent a total of N6.94 trillion on import bills.
The total amount spent on imports within the one year was in excess of the N6.04trillion proposed by President Muhammadu Buhari for this year’s budget, and over N2trillion above the total amount appropriated for the 2015 budget.
Obviously, the Nigeria government and the people are working effectively towards achieving this goal. We have a role to play, patronizing our locally made goods and be proud about it.
On ngex.com/bd, you are sure to find quality Made-In-Nigeria-Goods and Services.