MADE IN NIGERIA; THE STORY OF THE FUTURE
Betty (fake name) and I got into a discussion. She was complaining bitterly about how she is losing customers due to the hike in dollar as she was into selling foreign clothes and fashion accessories.
Her boutique was dying as no one could afford the new price. So I made a big blunder, I suggested she sells Made In Nigeria.
How dare you, she screamed. Do you know who my customers are? You think they are cheap? So I went ahead to tell her about Deola Sageo, Alara and the likes. They sell Made in Nigeria and Made in Africa and I bet your costumers can’t even afford them. Then her story changed…
How many people can afford to buy a Deola Sageo? Do you think they design for us? I saw then that this is another one of our blind patriots and so, I stopped selling my new idea to her.
The truth is that if we want to make it through this recession and build our economy, we have to start relying on Made in Nigeria. Anyone doing business in dollar right now is heading for the rocks.
Diversify, find a new business, especially one which doesn’t trade in dollar or has limited dollar spend. If it has a Nigerian version, try it out.
Before Facebook changed their billings to Naira, you must know that it has become critical to stay afloat in this recession with your business. This is the time to be flexible in business especially, the time to push Made in Nigeria.
I keep saying that if our government is smart, they will start encouraging Nigerian made products plus applaud them. This is the way to go to build back our economy and make it strong.
We preach about Aba (Eastern State) made things but in truth, these people are innovative. All they need is encouragement to make their products good and durable and voilà, we have an export haven.
Early this year, I attended a program called Business Women Road to Growth, training for women entrepreneurs and I must say, I was proud to see a lot of ladies producing their own products and pushing services especially in the area of fashion, education and agriculture. One of them now exports her own shoes, thanks to one of the support groups/firms.
This is the time our government should place policies that can help build the nation; though, they have to combat corruption to ensure policies live their time. We need to improve on agriculture and make food available for the multitude; food grown and produced in Nigeria by experts in the field, trained in the knowledge of food production by our Government.
We also need to ensure that anything that can be locally made be locally made especially if we have the natural resources to produce them e.g toothpick. I mean, how can a giant of Africa be importing something like toothpick? We’ve got enough trees to make tooth pick for the continent. These are things the government should look into, encourage local made and support them.
This will help us eventually trust in our own good and build them I mean, is China better than Aba?
For me the difference is just support and promotion. It’s time to embrace our own and encourage it so that we can keep the money within and build our economy. Imagine when we start exporting our goods full time? Yes, we will become a country of good financial repute.
I applaud the Made in Nigeria event they had and hope to read about the post event value. We need more Made in Nigeria initiative and policies to protect and grow our locally made goods. Cause another problem we have is ‘us’; omo nile, the people who destroy and stop locally made goods to progress in our country. We need to wake up and see that we are destroying ourselves for quick short term gain that is limited to us. We need to stop discriminating and start supporting our products so we can grow our economy.
Written by Suziette Ukey