Made in Nigeria

Finally, one of the ministers is making sense. Of all the talks about buy Nigeria made goods, Dr Fayemi, Minister of Solid Minerals Development on government supporting locally produced tiles in order to achieve government diversification plan is the only one that I have found reasonable.

There are plenty of reasons to be sceptical about any politician promises. Personally, any politician that forgets the fact that most Nigerians have been ignored for decades is not worth listening to as their policies is done leaving the majority behind.

One need not be a politician to think a little. Nigeria politicians have enjoyed ‘autonomy’ for decades as we have not trained ourselves enough to ask the right questions to make them understand they are in the position to serve not to dish out ill-conceived policies to the population.

In this article Mr Makoji Aduku, the Managing Director of FUJIAN talks about the challenge of tiles and marble operational costs. He said there is no shortage of raw materials in the country but operational costs has hindered capacity building for the company.

“…the company is spending N10 million to buy diesel every month for the operation of the organisation.”

This is true of all big production companies in Nigeria, textile industry is the same. Lack of affordable power is a big issue.

It is comforting to read that Dr Fayemi said government is working to help boast the production in order to keep the price competitive with the imported ones rather than proposing another ban.

It is simple really, competition is a great incentive for companies to improve on quality while keeping price attractive enough to get a piece of market share.

Using tiles for flooring and on the bathroom walls used to be luxury goods in Nigeria, however it is getting popular as more people are investing in their homes so makes sense  local company are supported to increase capacity.

Government wouldn’t have to preach to people to buy local on this one, if the price and quality is comparable, people will always go for the ones they are familiar with the most.

Now to another Senator talking about buy Nigeria product;

“Obasanjo Farms of Nigeria and other large scale poultry farms have the capacity to provide chicken for the entire nation. Since that is the case, why are we even buying imported chicken?” Senator Ben Murray.”

This above statement is one of the reasons it is unbearable reading anything that Senator Ben Murray writes. He talks to himself as if he has not been in Nigeria all these years and thank goodness he has enough grown adults who refused to think.

 The reason Nigeria has been buying imported chicken is simple – our borders are wide open. So when Baba Obasanjo increased tariffs on poultry to unreasonable % for importers to Nigeria, all that they had to do was dump same poultry in Benin for Nigerians to cross over and cart away. 

Who are the main beneficiaries of this? The custom officers and the Nigeria big men/women (mostly politicians) who assured these companies they are ‘covered.’

 Who pays the high price? Nigerians, ordinary Nigerians.  The price people would have paid if the products were allowed into the country jejeli + additional transportation fare from Benin to Nigeria.

I do understand the importance of supporting home-grown products, if anything it will enhance skills, increase creativity and improve job prospects. However, care must be taken so we don’t end up with another monopoly of product leaving everyday folks paying higher price than they need to.

 Government support for local industry to increase capacity is important if we were to preach ‘buy local’ so price can be competitive. To final consumers, all that matters is value for their naira.

Categories: Nigeria, Politics

Tags: ,

17 replies

  1. Sorry if I may sound as NAIVE as Senator Murray here. But FO, it still boils down to NIGERIANS consciously choosing not to buy Nigerian goods. Regardless.

    Most of the current hike in retail prices of goods in Nigeria really has nothing to do with the exchange of the Naira to the $. Most of it is unjustified in every economic sense. It is just same old arbitrary Nigerian ‘Mean-styled’ business. Quite akin to our defiance towards the use of coins. The retailers simply hike prices for their own selfish benefits.

    Dealing with our people needs lots of craft and guise, not simply being bullish and proper. That is the sad truth. The grasses (Masses) in our land itches too, on their very own. The Elephants (Elite) rather cooperate and trample all over them, than fight each other on them, for just that reason. LOL

    GMB is really clueless about how to handle the intricate Nigerian economy and their parochial shortsightedness. It is already showing that this leadership has a one-tract approach to the Nigerian conundrum.

    I always knew I will say this….But Nigeria is already missing Okonjo-wela, just 8 months in

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hear you Aboki. You see, I agree quite a bit with some of Senator Murray’s sermon. However, it downed on me that most of the things he talked about was what actually affect minority of Nigerians – that to me is a waste of time listening to him. They all need to do their homework and not ‘think’ but just take a trip in their neighbourhood to get the real feeling.

      Buy Nigeria campaign is all great – it is completely useless if my people in Modakeke ended up paying higher price for a kilo of fish and the custom & politicians reap the benefits – let them secure the border first.

      And the Arik airline that the guy talked about endlessly – that is rich people’s problem. Not worth my time anymore.

      You wonder why they don’t talk about SA apples which is usually eaten by the well off – why can’t they tax that substantially and then promote our local fruits?

      Why not put higher tax on certain imported breakfast cereal and many of the canned foods to promote Nigerian food – because those are rich people’s choice.

      Why can’t they tax hair extension that is clogging our gutters – local alternative for that is our head :).

      This is exactly what is going on with cement – today average Nigerian pay higher price for a bag of cement while people like Senator will buy in bulk then pay lower price – Dangote makes more of his money from poor folks and yet little is given back in term of appropriate tax.

      Each time form my experience when they ‘ban’ food products – the poor suffer more.

      PS: I do not miss Madam Okonjo-Iweala. I still have respect for the woman as it is a huge sacrifice to leave her family behind in the States but nah…

      Liked by 1 person

      • If you were resident in Nigeria right now, my sister, You will miss Okonjo-Iweala. NNPC just went on strike today… Nigeria Sai Buhari

        Liked by 1 person

        • I hear you Aboki and I genuinely sympathise with the masses but the reality is we don’t need quick fix in Nigeria not when it comes to how to spend public fund or generate revenue. I still remember walking from my town to the village (>10miles) due to fuel scarcity in 1993 because presidential election (Abiola) was annulled.

          Since then it has been from one case to another.

          We need real strategic solutions that would work regardless of who is in the position, not the superficial one.

          Sorry Egbon, I sound like a real …

          Liked by 1 person

          • I get it, you’re just being objective. But the truth be said. this present government is just fumbling along and hoping for the best possible outcome, while blaming everybody & everything else for their failings.

            The previous government administered a realistic boom in Nigeria’s economy while the world was experiencing the worst recession since the 1930s. We have all conveniently forgotten that bcos they stole money. Give me a competent fraud any day ahead of an incompetent saint.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Hmnn, I get your points but I will always look at Nigeria from the perspective of the majority, I don’t believe any nation is better off, not in the least when 60% are poor and odd that they will continue to be poor is starked against them.

              Did you read the reports that Nigeria external debt was N2.9trn in 2009 and N10.5trn by 2015? (Need to dig out the article myself).

              And the one where GEJ paid 2.2bn naira for Islamic leaders for prayers – I can’t wait to see how much shameless christian leaders got – we all see them tripping in Jerusalem a few years ago.

              Oh, did you read the one where Cambridge Uni is suing Rivers state for unpaid tuition – they left local schools in shambles and send selected friends and family abroad.

              This level of stupidity has no place in 21st century, not when more than half the population rot away.

              Which recession? I am not sure Nigeria qualifies here. Remember the rebase economy story? One day we are the giant of Africa, the next day somebody disputes it pointing to the obvious we love to neglect.

              GEJ was a very bad dream. I bet he hated himself for taking on the job.

              Ina nka na 🙂


  2. Power seems to be the limiting factor for many industries in Nigeria. Nigeria should do like Germany, where the government, unions and big industry all sat down and formulated a plan whereby they work in concert to strengthen the country’s industrial base.
    The idea of simply spending all that money on diesel, I’m sure is inefficient and they are using outdated technology. Maybe they should research alternatives, and come up with a solution that works better for them. Judging by previous attempts this is something that those at the top and the big corporate players are unwilling to do, they always want a ready-made solution, but if it hasn’t been tested in your environment, how ready-made will it be? Hence when unexpected problems arise and the lack of maintenance and abundance of slackness and unprofessionalism that characterises Nigeria appears, the thing will be abandoned. There is no short cut to an enduring solution, patience, co-operation and careful monitoring are the keys.
    It is the responsibility of all interested parties to rise to the challenge, instead of trying to off-load as much of the expense to someone else as possible, when all players recognise this, then we will finally see some progress.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’ve said it all jco. They are unwilling to do anything that could help the masses, quick term fix is all they’re after.
      Also the ‘slackness and unprofessionalism’ is just really off-putting – they (senate) earn much more than their counterparts in the west, yet they just want to spew rubbish without any research and they expect people to nod along…


  3. Hi Folake,

    Thought-provoking article, as usual. 🙂

    The Nigerian situation is an upside-down case of putting the cart before the horse, while it’s easy to preach the holy gospel of “buy local”, the truth remains that the infrastructural foundation has to be laid before local products can compete competitively with their imported counterparts.

    As it were, considering the issues with inadequate logistics and power failure, some foreign brands will be much cheaper than local brands.

    I am really rooting for Nigeria but I am realistic enough to understand that change occurs as a process and not an event. I hope that the influencers in public office realise this too, and churn out policies that pave the way for easier local production.

    Have a great week.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Makes sense to me too.

    Liked by 1 person

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