Who benefits from Made in Nigeria products?

Maybe in 10 years when infrastructure is in place; good roads, reliable transport system and electricity. When we are likely to have healthy competitions then ‘Made in Nigeria’ products could benefits ordinary people, I mean the 60% that live on less than $2 a day. As it stands today, any advocate for Made in Nigeria products have hidden agenda – they are about to ban something in order to monopolise the market.

Beneficiaries are always the smart next door countries, the customer officers, and the elected officials working from the inside to keep the unfair law intact.

In the 80s, most of the bags and shoes we buy from my area are mostly Aba Made which we were happy about but it also means there were less competitions and people pay price as given.

Thankfully we started having second hand ‘bend and select‘ shoes and bags from the west – by direct importation and other means, now prices stay where it should be in relative to quality.

Nigeria made or not – everyday people only benefit from low price when there is healthy competition. We can only boast of that when Nigeria fixes its infrastructure.

If we want to promote our goods and services, then work on putting infrastructure in place first, secure the borders and put appropriate tax system in place in the first instance not after the poor have been squeezed to oblivion.

On food – People at the lower end of the ladder have always eaten locally sourced food. It has been like that from the beginning of time. It is what they can afford.

I am not even sure Nigeria is in a situation to ban anything when we can barely produce enough. What other countries do is impose higher taxes on luxury goods such as alcohol, cigarette, designer goods etc.

On poultry and fish – history will not forget Baba Obasanjo on this one for raising tariffs to 70% during his presidency in the name of protecting local produce. What happens? The same old small number of overfed people gets richer. No way can the old man produce enough meat for the country’s population, so Benin (the smart one) opens their boarders to foreign companies so Nigerians can risk their lives crossing boarders to purchase the same meat that could have easily allowed to enter the country.

I hope ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo finishes his library and furnish it with good books – that may be the only good legacy he will leave behind.

On Arik – What would make me fly Arik Air ? Competitive prices, good customer service, consistent safety records and awareness to the country image i.e not taking bribes so another cocaine pusher slips some stuff through the staff into the aircraft:

“On Monday, Chika Udensi, a senior member of the Arik Air cabin crew‎, was arrested by UK Border Force officials with 20 kilogrammes of cocaine at Heathrow Airport in London.”  – Aug 27th 2015

 

We have seen this time and over again in Nigeria where local brands are elevated needlessly on essential goods and the only people that pays the high price are the poor Nigerians. Our cement industry is a good example of this.

If America were like Nigeria, Bill Gates would still have monopoly over computer software but they are of different breed (the case is available online where sensible people fought tooth and nail against BG monopoly in the early 2000) The result today is cheaper software prices and increased usage of computer all around the world – even BG is significantly better off.

Not in our case.

If you ban importation of staple foods, rich folks will continue to be able to afford it, the poor will pay higher price.

These senators advocating for ‘buy Nigeria made goods’ are not the problems I have come to realise – the problem are the people who refused to learn that the poor will be poorer if any ban or higher taxes is placed on essential goods. Can majority of Nigerians afford the same goods as these guys? The answer is no.

The main problem in Nigeria isn’t that we have importation of goods, our major problem is lack of infrastructure. Fix that.

 

Here is an illustrative graph from World Economic Forum (WEF). Nigeria is in red which means most Nigerians (the everyday folks) feel the impact of higher food prices the most. One of the reasons for this is our lack of infrastructure and bad policies i.e ban on things we can’t produce enough of which results in them being dumped in Benin for our people to pick up and in turn folks pay higher prices.

150901-CPI-inflation-food-prices-BI



Categories: Africa, Nigeria, Politics

Tags: , ,

15 replies

  1. Question, what makes you think 10 years is enough to fix infrastructure considering the growing demands and shrinking economic base. For the past 50 years infrastructure is a key requirement which has never been met, now the price of oil has tumbled, government has no savings. Don’t you think that 10 years is being overly optimistic, considering China have been going at the infrastructure issue hard for over 30 years, and they still haven’t finish upgrading their infrastructure?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good sport, jco!

      Yes, that was overly optimistic I admit however if the trend that I have seen in some areas continues steadily for the next decade, we will see significant improvement.

      For example Fashola, the new transport minister talked about repairing death trap Ibadan-Lagos motorway, I don’t think it will be finished in 3 months that he proposed however, if he was as shrewd as he was with cleaning up parts of Lagos – we’ll see difference soon.

      With electricity, it still remains a far cry as I see it however, for once in 3 decades each house now has meters and a card to monitor their usage – I am talking from small town perspective – that is huge as NEPA used to just slam folks with estimated bills.

      What I hope for is a non-partisan team dedicated to build on progressive framework.

      Like

  2. I think the misconception many people have is that they suppose if products are made in Nigeria, they are automatically cheaper to purchase. Another one I have heard/seen recently is that Nigerians who buy products made abroad when they is a Nigerian-made substitute – however less quality or less efficient – are unpatriotic.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That word ‘patriotic’ means something different in Nigeria than the rest of the world… Abacha is patriotic, Alams is patriotic, Obasanjo is patriotic, James Ibori is patriotic and God help me Dasuki did his best for spreading the wealth…you get the drill – so Nigerians scraping by on much less disposable income is unpatriotic for going for cheaper price? I don’t pay attention to those ones.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Toothpicks!!! Whatever happened to our local chewing sticks? You are right about the corner-corner movement when we want to promote our own things, shebi they will not use price and chase us away. Seeing that the manufacturers have to go through so much to produce the goods.
    A luxury good is what it is, LUXURY! If you go for it, you can afford it.

    It is well o! I hope policy makers are reading and learning.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yio data fun yin (it is well with you!) I really do think basic economics should be compulsory in schools, at least people can see through these guys before we praise their names – they have gotten away with mago, mago sotay!

      See Queen, how does it make any sense that a kilo of mackerel is more expensive in my hometown than in Brixton market London? It is these guys imposing bans on essential goods that people need for survival, then behind our backs allow toothpicks to come in because our broom and chewing sticks are too ‘local’ for picking their teeth 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Dear Fola,

    I just cannot figure out why my comments to wordpress sites get either rejected or messed up. I was about to lose the comments just posted when I decided to post as ANONYMOUS! That’s how I lost one to the recent posting on WHATKINDOFCHILD … I had to give up.

    Please put my name where it says ANONYMOUS, if possible even there it is right there at the bottom as I always sign everywhere else!

    Regards, Tola.

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Dear Folakemi,

    Banning of different items, as you’ve pointed out, has never worked in Nigeria and, generally anywhere, as you’ve pointed out. While a reckless open border policy could be disastrous, too, the way out for countries like Nigeria is to use the naturally-good agriculture-friendly climate it has to invest in agro industries; this assumes it takes the natural first step of encouraging farming on massive scale.

    It would be able to cash in on the exportation of food products like many tropical countries like Thailand, Malaysia … Which would help offset part of the imbalance trading and decrease foreign exchange spending. Of course people will be able to eat better.

    In the mid-70s, locally-produced rice was so available that I remember my mom gave us a cocoa-bag size of Upland Rice grown in Ekiti at that time on our return from abroad where we had been studying. It helped our young family settle down. A few years later after the return to civil rule, Shagari’s govt began massive importation of tasteless rice, and there went the local rice industry which was so well-organized that a small community like my home-town had a well-organized rice cooperative. Out went jobs at the village mill and forever went very good-tasting and inexpensive rice.

    A balance, therefore, needs to be struck in this matter.

    Thanks.
    TOLA.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Many thanks for the input on this Mrs Adenle. Completely agree with your view points. We need to invest in agriculture first, nurture it – people will naturally buy local products when price is competitive.

      The problem with these senators is that they live in a completely different planet from most Nigerians. Growing up all my family staple foods cassava, yams, maize etc were from my father’s farm. Things we had to buy were beans which comes from the north.

      Rice, we convenient buy rice as the price dictates that and also that it is tastier. Even with rice, if they want people to rely on Nigeria farmed rice – why not improve on it? The reason it was cheaper long ago was that there too much tiny stones in it so people are happy to pick the pebbles and enjoy the taste.

      What they are proposing is to ‘choke’ the poor the more – and obviously it will never work in Nigeria. Even a developed nation like UK knew price is important to determine what people buy.

      As you said, we do need balance, for now let them ban luxury goods such as their shameless cars and other stuff that can be substituted such as the overly sugary cereals… and toothpicks.

      Liked by 1 person

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