Read why the campaign, made popular by Senator Ben Murray Bruce is faulty in this article written by Tunde Mo Aguda.
So it eventually took the demonizing of the Nigerian Naira a couple of weeks ago which lead to the worst fall against the dollar in our history as a nation, to bring about the sudden common sense buy Naija gospel.
No doubt we are a country that thinks illogically and rationalizes like people distorted from reality. Our addiction and craving for foreign stuff is indeed frightening. We have imported from anything to everything and some of these imports in most cases have had amazing low standards compared to the unappreciated & ignored Nigerian made options, no offence to China.
Now the sudden #BuyNaijaToGrowTheNaira campaign came to the lime lights. Honestly, I wish the miracles could come overnight, but my dear friends, the damage that our illogical craving for imported goods and products have caused to the nation are dire and a sudden clarion call won’t suddenly make it all go away. But it’s no doubt a great place to start from.
So let’s carefully analyze things. Most factories and industries have closed down and the warehouses have been turned to churches. That is a fact. Where is the power that the little courageous “Made in Nigeria” industries left have to use? Let me help you out, there is no power but there are heavy diesel generators that have to be powered and increase the cost of production of these made in Nigeria products.
Like Chris Brown’s song, the “banks ain’t loyal.” Yes, you can take that to the bank. The Nigerian banking industry – with the exception of Bank of Industry (BoI) – operate like the Mafia Mob. There is little or no loans accessible to the SMEs & local manufactures.
However, switch the story to the importers that have more advantage on the Food Chain. Yes, they get the loans to import. Why? Because the banks feel their money and returns are certain. Why? Because Nigerians love and prefer imported goods. So with little or no effort, money yields interest and both banker and importer smiles.
But how many jobs does the importer create? Here is it: he keeps the clearing and forwarding agents in business and employs and few underpaid job seekers to handle marketing and sales. Bear in mind these jobs are all temporary. The only exception to this are the phone and computer accessory niche, where direct jobs are created from the linear and non-linear chain of supply and retail.
So let’s connect the dots. The current “patronage of Made in Nigeria” has little or no effect on appreciating the Naira until we fix a lot of bugs earlier mentioned in our processes. Import duty waivers of raw materials for local manufactures should be 100% in my opinion and all the importers of luxury items should bear the brunt with 200 – 300% import & excise duties.
Why should imported Italian furniture sales thrive, when there are frustrated jobless furniture carpenters here? The answer lies in the fact we Nigerians are our own greatest enemy. I will rest it here for now, but I’m sure you get the drift. #BuyNaijaToGrowTheNaira campaign will get it right when we address and tackle these issues.