Walk into any shopping mall, super-market or big store, pick up an item at random, ranging from electronics, clothes and other stuffs and look at the label. Chances are you’ll see the same three words on the tag: “Made in China.” Depending on the product, it might read “Made in Italy” or “Made in the USA” – but it almost certainly won’t say “Made in Nigeria.” Save for a very few products.
The truth is that it wasn’t always this way. Decades ago, many or even most products on store shelves most especially food items were Nigerian-made. But now we tend to neglect this products for foreign goods. Thereby forcing some of this local manufacturers to fold up.
since the late 1990s, Nigerian manufacturing has seen a steady decline. Many Nigerian companies have either moved their factories or closed up. Thus, reducing the work force. The number of unemployment increases as most of these affected manufacturing companies will be left with no other choice than dropping some of their workers, if not all of them.
It is speculated that as at Wednesday, February 24, the exchange rate on the parallel market was N305, a huge leap from an all-time low of N400 and some relieve from fears raised by speculators that the naira could fall as low as N500 to a dollar.
However, it is not yet celebration time, especially when one remembers that there was a time in the history of Nigeria when the naira and the dollar stood at an equal rate. This history, can repeat itself or come very close to be repeated if Nigerians as a whole will take some steps in the right direction.
Reasons to Buy Nigerian-Made Products
Of late there have been a decline in the Naira against the U.S dollar. And this has resulted in the ban of some luxury items all in a bid to strengthen the Naira and also encourage local production of these items.
In social media there have been trends to create awareness on reasons to buy Nigerian-made goods (#BuyNaijaToGrowTheNaira). And all of these are to help revive and strengthen the Nigerian economic system.
There are many reasons to buy Nigerian-made products, some of which include the following:
- Jobs Creation: The most common reason why you should buy Nigerian-made is to help save or create jobs in the country.
- To Reduce Carbon Footprint: Products made overseas have a higher carbon footprint (The sum of all the greenhouse gas emissions produced through day-to- day activities) than Nigerian-made goods. Goods made in China or India have to be shipped all the way across the ocean to reach Nigerian stores, burning fossil fuel and spewing out greenhouse gases with every mile they travel.
- A Stronger Economy: Buying Nigerian-made goods doesn’t just support the workers who make those goods. Its benefits also ripple out through the entire economy. Take for example; when Nigerian factories prosper, they may likely hire Nigerian construction firms to expand their buildings, Nigerian accounting firms to handle their money, and EDC energy suppliers to provide them with power.
- Effective Tax Payment: If the local businesses and manufacturers are succeeding, then the nation at large will definitely benefit. With an increase in production and an equal rise in demand for Nigerian-made goods, then the issue of tax would not be a problem. And with a quantum increase in the payment of taxes, then the government can carry out other necessary projects.
The average Nigeria must take pride in everything that is Nigerian-made goods and try to correct that which is bad. The Buying of locally made products can serve as a uniting tool, in which the nation can grow economy-wise.
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