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.