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


About Tony Tokunbo Eteka Fernandez

Tony Tokunbo Eteka Fernandez is an International Award Winner, Published Author & Poet, Broadcast Journalist, MC and Youth Empowerment Consultant . He is also The CEO of AFRICA4U and The Founder of Africans in The Diaspora People also see him as a Cultural and Social entrepreneur, which means he is skilled in working with many different communities, bringing people together in successful focused events. Tony has organised many cultural events …involving both BME and mainstream communities. He is skilled in hosting events that reinforce community cohesion and bringing different kinds of people together. He has organised events in The UK, The U.S.A, Holland, Germany, Romania, Malta and Nigeria and has visited over 22 European Countries. Tony has also organised The Black History Month Celebrations at The UK House of Parliament for over five years in a row He continues to promote the true life and success stories of Africans in Europe and Africans around the world and has organised several small scale literary and awards initiatives aimed at empowering young people. He has also spent time as an International broadcaster and was The Producer and Presenter for AFRICA4U International Radio Talk Show at Reading4u Radio Station for nearly three years. Tony has interviewed high profile Members of Parliament, Distinguished celebrities and some of Africas best musicians including Ivonne Chaka Chaka and Kanda Bongoman. He has also been a guest on BBC Radio on numerous occasions to discuss the community cohesion events he organises at UK House of Parliament and also to recite some of his published work in memory of Nelson Mandela, 50 Years Anniversary of The race relations act and major community issues. Tony has also a Guest on popular Radio stations in Nigeria and The States In the last few years he has been very passionate about Youth empowerment, community cohesion and cultural intelligence. Tony was born in South London and has lived in several parts of England and Nigeria . He started writing at the tender age of nine, a habit he expressed with creative enthusiasm. Tony writes Poetry, short stories and proverbs on personal development. He is currently working on his 4th book which will also be his first novel. He is also into Public Speaking at Special events and Social functions and is a Mentor for young people in the UK Community. He completed a Bachelor of Arts degree at The University of Lagos, Nigeria in English and World Literature. He later went on to attain a teaching qualification at The Frances King International Training Institute, South Kensington London, it was here he studied Teaching English as a Foreign Language. He also studied Web Design at The City University in London. He published his first book in June 1999 called “The Beauty in the Dark” (A Collection of Poetry which received critical acclamation in many circles around the world). .Tony’s aim in life is to inspire the young generation and to encourage the youth to make the very best of their dreams and aspirations,. He published a 2nd book in June 2009 called ” The Sound of Running Water” – A Family gift book of proverbs and quotations on Personal Development and Positive Thinking . In December 2009, he published his 3rd book called “One Moment of Peace”.- A collection of Poetry inspired by personal experiences and spiritual growth. Besides the fact that the Artist has won International online awards, he is mostly inspired by Life experience, love, music and cultural awareness. He was Resident Poet at the 5th London Poetry Festival in 2009 and has been a guest on BBC Radio on very many occassions including The famous Anne Diamond Show. He has also been a guest on a few SKY TV stations and several International Radio Stations around The World
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