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.