Market survey has shown that Nigerians still have appetite and patronise foreign products despite the fall of the naira. Lydia Ojarikre went to town to ask ordinary Nigerians how the patronage of locally made goods can be encouraged.
In my opinion, I think Nigerians can be encouraged to patronise Made-in-Nigeria products by discouraging the use of imported goods which are or can be produced locally. By making the goods produced in the country reliable, durable and affordable for the common man. For instance, the Ofada rice which is produced locally if it is same price as the imported rice or a bit cheaper and the nutritional effects of the ofada rice are publicized I think people will be encouraged to patronize it. The Basmati rice imported into the country from Indiaare seen flooded in our markets and 5kg of it is approximately between N4500 to N7000 depending on the brand while the 5kg of Ofada rice range from N3500 to N4500 which depends also on the brand, yet people still patronise the Basmati rice because of its nutritional benefits which has been publicized and certified internationally. Nigerians can also be encouraged to patronise goods produced locally if the products are well branded, imitation should be disallowed and uniqueness allowed, samples should be given out just to make research on the product and seek opinions from people that is in terms of fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) and nice advertisement via various media channels explaining the reliability and benefits of the products.
It isquite difficult for Nigerians to purchase locally made goods, we prefer foreign goods because we think it is the best in terms of durability and reliability based on the measures that have been put in place by their government to ensure that they are export worthy and certified for utilization. In my view, the only way Nigerians can be encouraged to patronise locally made goods is by ensuring the products are durable, fit for consumption if it applies to fast moving goods, well branded and by selling the products at a reduced or discounted price for people to try out. If they see that the products are good they will continue to patronize it and inform others thereby promoting maximum utilization.
Ijebu Ode, Ogun
First and foremost, foreign goods can’t be totally eradicated from the country as Nigeria is an import dependent country. We barely produce what we use in the country from the mobile phones, cars, clothes, some food items and so many more. Although, I heard that some cars would be produced locally but how many locally produced cars are on the roads. I think Nigerians can be encouraged to buy made-in-Nigeria products if certain level of orientation and awareness are done for us to know that quality goods are also produced in the country and also the manufacturers or producers of these locally made goods should ensure that their products meet international standards. In the aspect of policy, the government should adjust their policies to encourage Small and Medium Enterprises in the country so as to avoid importation of certain foreign products which can be produced locally.
I think Nigerians can be encouraged to patronize Made-in-Nigeria products if the Federal Government stops the importation of certain foreign goods and also increase the production and quality of locally made goods. Government should also work on promoting our industries.
I think Nigerians can be encouraged to patronise Made-in-Nigeria products if proper campaign and awareness is given on the benefits of its patronage especially at this time where the naira has fallen to the foreign currency. Nigeria is an import dependent country and we really need to start producing some of our own products. I like what the Central Bank of Nigeria did in terms of restricting foreign exchange to some items which can be produced locally, that was a good start because we need to find other means of producing our own goods but there are some items in the list which should not have been restricted. Government should also help in equipping and providing support and loans to these manufacturers if need be so that they can produce quality products which in turn Nigerians will buy thereby promoting locally made goods. Uniqueness of the brand should also come to play. Have you seen any nation that has moved from being a poor one to a rich one by importing every raw material without a strong industrial base? I guess not. Take a look at Asian countries like China, Thailand, South Korea and so on, I believe they didn’t develop their economy to be as it is today in one day; they started from somewhere so Nigeria should take that approach and learn from them. Also, the patronisation of locally made goods should also start with government parastatals. Those who need or use official cars should patronise Innoson vehicles and others said to be produced in Nigeria. They should lead by example then we follow.
I think people patronise less of made in Nigeria goods because of the low quality of the products. If the quality of our product is increased we will get more patronage. Personally I will rather save up and buy quality item. Our government should put measures in place to restrict the importationof goods that we canbe source locally: toothpick and tin tomato are still being imported daily. Also, the government should encourage brilliant ideas from Nigerians by providing soft loans to start up a business.
There are several measures that needs to be met before we can talk of patronage of Made-in-Nigeria products. Government should improve trade free zones in the country, reduce taxation on companies that manufacture locally made goods, boost electricity which is an important commoditybecause without electricity how would the companies function effectively, provide long-term and short term loans as the case may be for such producers and also improve on our transportation systems because without good road networks and functionality of the railways how will the goods be transferred from one location to the other? Without the necessary prerequisite and production of quality products how will there be patronage.
Nigerians can be encouraged to patronise Made-in-Nigeria products if Government or the authorities in charge ensures that locally made goods are durable and of high quality. The government needs to also work on encouraging the exportation of more locally made goods thanimporting foreign products. Take for instance, our Adire (Tie & Dye) which is produced in the south western part of the country if it is exported overseas am sure they will yield high level of patronage. Political figures and celebrities such as Michelle Obama and LupitaNyong’o have worn Adire-inspired clothes. How did they get there? Obviously, through exportation of the item and these would also help our economy. Quite a number of foreigners admire African and Nigerian cultures,fashion designs and life styles because they areunique and that is what we should put into our products to yield maximum utilisation both locally and internationally.
The ways in which I think Nigerians can be encouraged to patronise locally made products is by creating awareness and running continuous campaigns just like that of the Spirit of Lagos that sought to change the orientation of Lagosians by making them take ownership of their environment, do the right thing and allowing their conscience to talk to them when they want to drop trash on the road or beat the traffic light. Another type of campaign that can be done is the approach by a Senator in the National Assembly on twitter #BuyNaijaToGrowTheNaira, thereby the benefits of buying made-in-Nigeria goods can be emphasized. For example, buying made in Nigeria goods will boost employmentgeneration in the country, help conserve thenation’s foreign reserve and strengthen the nairaagainst the dollar and other foreign currency thereby making the countryfinancially healthy and self-dependent, boost the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and also help add value tothe economy. The government also needs to help boost Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the country by providing them with soft loans. It is important to note that majorprosperous economies of the world today boosted their smalland medium enterprises as a way to solidify theireconomy. Nigeria must follow suit to succeedeconomically and secure its place as a regional andglobal economic power.