The issue of scaling the sales and support of made in Nigeria products is very hard and authorities are getting exhausted with various approaches used to gain the trust of the Nigerian populace. As the GDP generated from locally made and sold products drops rapidly, there must be a way the vast stream of Nigerian SMEs who are producing locally made goods should benefit for their hard-work. But then, there is the problem that looms, it has shattered the hope of the common and average sized production companies locally. Whats the hope for made in Nigeria products?
According to Trading Economics, Imports to Nigeria surged 45.8 percent from a year earlier to NGN 1042 billion in June 2019, boosted by purchases of manufactured goods (100.5 percent); raw materials (38.5 percent); agricultural goods (1.6 percent) and solid minerals (86.9 percent). Among major import partners, purchases rose mostly from China (78.7%), India (70.2%), Japan (92.2%) and the US (181.6 percent); but fell from the Netherlands (-23.1%) and Spain (-34.6%). Imports in Nigeria averaged 234304.14 NGN Millions from 1981 until 2019, reaching an all time high of 2209385.78 NGN Millions in August of 2018 and a record low of 167.88 NGN Millions in May of 1984.
In a bid to boost local sales and production, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the Central Bank of Nigeria to block food importers’ requests for foreign currency in a bid to boost local agriculture in Nigeria.
It is a continuation of a policy that the president began after coming to office in 2015, when he banned the use of foreign exchange to import dozens of items including the staple food, rice. Since then, domestic production has increased, but the policy has been criticised for not taking the low capacity of local farmers into consideration. The policy has also coincided with a rise in food & product prices, which has been blamed on insecurity in some of the country’s main food producing areas.
To enable you understand this issue, lets consider the following pointers:
What is Made in Nigeria Product?
A made in Nigeria product is a product (goods or even services) that is produced locally in Nigeria. This means that the product (goods or services) was not imported. The materials used for the production of such goods and services were obtained locally.
What are the Challenges of Made in Nigeria Products?
For the average to the large sized Nigerian production businessess, there worries are numerous. They include:
One of President Buhari’s top priorities is to root out corruption. A recent poll conducted by NOIPolls and LEAP Africa revealed that 85% of adult Nigerians believe that the prevalence of corruption in the country is responsible for the bottlenecks that characterize the difficulty of doing business in Nigeria. Reasons given for the prevalence of corruption in Nigeria included weak government institutions (24%) and poverty (18%). Well-connected business people gain from anti-competitive practices that shield Nigeria from market forces. The Government of Nigeria has sought to address corruption through the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), and the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative.
A lack of a consistent access to reliable power costs businesses and the economy as a whole. Even with access to energy, unreliable power makes operating a business even more challenging than usual. Nigerian business and manufacturing enterprises experience power outages. As a result, firms lose sales revenues in the informal sector. Where back-up generators are limited, losses can be as higher. These losses have severe consequences for the health and growth of the wider economy, not to mention the dramatic impact in achieving other development objectives outlined by the sustainable development goals (SDGs).
Owners of small businesses in Nigeria seem to have adapted to the poor power and epileptic power supply in the country as they have resorted to alternative forms of getting electricity to power their businesses. Those that suffer most now are the SMEs and the micro operators that rely on generators, more so now that the fuel is not even available, their problems have been compounded. With a remarkable increase in operational cost and poor purchasing power of consumers, the manufacturing companies have had to lay off thousands in the last six months, with about three million still to go.
The average size and even large size Nigerian business relies on the facial selling pattern where the goods are bought at a cash rate during market sessions. The whole world are leveraging on different marketing schemes to help boost their business presence. Unfortunately, many SMEs who are into production of made in Nigerian goods are yet to catch the cruise.
The selling platforms such as Jumia, Konga, and even Amazon does not fully feature Made in Nigeria products as their strong points. Why? Policies, intents and objectives differ with respect to individual e-commerce companies. The platforms do not recognize the average Nigerian business on the streets. The average Nigerian production companies are in awe, as they see fellow citizens purchase foreign products that they can produce with more superiority and style.
Finally a Hope for Made in Nigerian Products!
The e-commerce scene is pretty much dominated, but there is a new kid on the block that promises to bridge the gap between foreign and made in Nigeria market. Launching on October 1st, Keanyi is the first indigenous e-commerce marketplace to sell strictly only made-in-Nigeria products! With a large database of vendors they seek to garner, it will definitely become a force to be reckoned with.
Currently, there are some vendors on the new platform. In time, the sore story of the poor selling process faced by Nigerian indigenous companies will become a history. Until then, we can only be optimistic as to what the future hold for Keanyi?—?Our Own!
The need to patronize made-in-Nigeria goods cannot be overemphasized as it is one major way to economic growth and development. The economy of any nation grows rapidly when locally made goods are promoted through patronage, first by its people then through export.
It is, however, dispiriting to know that we obviously have been growing other countries’ economies through our over-dependence on imported goods, especially those which have local substitutes. Nigeria can easily experience a breakthrough in the quest for local content development and a stable, strong and advanced economy if Nigerians would patronize made-in-Nigeria products.
Featured image (source Nigerian News Direct)