Bringing Back ‘Made in Nigeria’ by Olu W. Onemola

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Saraki checking out ‘Made in Aba’ attires
There has been a lot of talk in recent times about promoting ‘Made in Nigeria.’ From the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki’s recent visit to the ‘Made in Aba’ trade fair, to the hashtag to #BuyNaijaToGrowTheNaira, it is clear that Nigerians are beginning to understand that it is only our concerted and collective internal efforts as a nation that can solve our economic worries.
In the early 2000s, walking around the street rocking ‘Made in Aba’ goods was synonymous with saying that you shopped at ‘bend-down-select’ markets and roadside stations. Wearing leather sandals produced from the eastern part of Nigeria in those early years of the new millennium, was seen as an unfavourable status symbol for many – despite the hard work and expertise that had been put in to produce those goods from our local manufacturers. Retrospectively, quality-wise, the shoes, clothing, bags and other ‘Made in Nigeria’ goods back then, were nearly on par with their imported counterparts. However, the marker of acceptability in social circles in those days came from the fact that your ‘Nike’ products were truly made by ‘Nike, Inc.’, and your ‘Adidas’ was not labelled ‘Adadis.’
Somewhere along the line, things changed, and Nigerians began to look inwards. We began to understand that our extreme foreign consumption capacity would not fuel the domestic growth of our economy. We began to realise that Timi, Deji and Haruna, could design and produce goods that were just as good as Thomas, Dickens, and Harrisons’. We began to see that indigenous goods and home-grown services could be on par, or even better than those from abroad. Consequently, new small and medium scale enterprises sprung up allover the country to cater for our increased demand.
From fashion to finance, from entertainment to edibles, ‘Made in Nigeria’ experienced …Read More

Source:: PM Newspaper