HomeCOMMENRARYReasons Nigerians patronise foreign goods

    Reasons Nigerians patronise foreign goods

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    There is need to patronise made-in-Nigeria goods. The economy of any nation grows rapidly when locally-made goods are promoted through patronage, first by its people, and then through export.

    Here are some reasons Nigerians are patronising foreign goods against Nigerian made products

    1. The market.
    2. The Individual.
    3. The government.


    1. High competitive consumer markets in Nigeria.
    2. Consumers search for lower price and product availability. Once consumers perceive a price difference between local and foreign item, it will begin to affect their preference for local goods. In other words, if they notice that local items are more expensive than foreign ones, they go for the foreign ones.

    A made in Nigeria dress, for instance, comes with a high price tag due to the low demand for such locally made wears. The designer increases the price to make as much profit as possible from the few customers available. The result is that Nigerians find it difficult to buy locally made fashion wears.

    Another reason for high prices is that in Nigeria’s fashion industry, there are many middlemen who raise the prices of outfits. Nigerians interface more with these intermediaries rather than the actual designers themselves and what they encounter are ridiculously high prices.

    1. Consumers imagine that foreign brands are more durable. Consumers mentioned advise not to use made in Nigeria batteries in torchlight as foreign products last longer.

    A consumer mentioned that they bought a Zinox laptop sometime ago with very low specifications just because he wanted to buy a made-in-Nigeria product and it didn’t last a year. He said he could have bought HP or Acer at the same amount with higher specifications. Same with Hitv that is supposed to give Dstv a run for their money; instead it is more expensive with all their stations. It is the same issue with Globacom Nigeria and MTN South Africa.

    4.Consumers have noted the lack of trust in the production process. Nigerian businessmen have stated pressure from contractors to lower standards. Individuals who secured contracts from government often asked them to lower the quality in order for the contractors to make some profit.

    Nigerians who like getting rich over night use substandard materials in manufacturing goods due to proper regulation in the production process.

    1. For wholesalers, the desire to sell off old stock most times compels most local manufacturers to label their products “Made in Italy”.
    2. Quality issues. No one will ever want to buy a product that is of low quality. Most consumers believe made in Nigeria products are of low quality either as a result of the producers trying to make bigger profit or over management of resources. For instance, you cannot expect a Nigerian to purchase a bag of rice of which half is filled with stones and other dirt, rather, the Nigerian will prefer to purchase a bag of rice that is produced elsewhere and is stone-free.

    A consumer mentioned an example of Kellogg’s cornflakes which are made in the United States; they taste better than the Milo cornflakes, Nasco flakes and Good Morning flakes. Though more expensive, it gave good value for the money.

    A house wife mentioned how she could not understand how a box of matches that has the name of a regulatory body stamped on it does not ignite.

    According to her, any time she shops for matches she goes for the foreign ones from other African countries.

    1. Poor advertisement/awareness

    Advertisement is king. Most Nigerian producers and manufacturers fail to recognise the importance of advertising. Most Nigerians don’t know there are products produced in Nigeria that satisfy their needs. Proper advertisement is not done to bring the existence of such products to their notice. Since there is no awareness concerning such products, they will buy goods made outside Nigeria for which proper advertisement and awareness is available.

    A high-priced item may be perceived as being high in quality because of the image created by manufacturers through advertising. Similarly, a global product may be perceived to be of superior quality as quality is believed to be a prerequisite for international acceptance.

    In Nigeria today, electronic goods from Italy may be perceived as of poor quality, but Italian clothing would be perceived as fashionable and of high quality. Japanese electronics would be perceived with positive attitude while their clothing would be negatively perceived.

    1. Consumers mentioned poor after-sales service was responsible for their refusal to patronise made in Nigeria products. If you purchase a Toyota car today, rest assured that there are many authorised outlets such as Elizade Motors, where you can service or maintain the car in most parts of Nigeria. On the other hand, if you purchase an Innoson vehicle which is produced in Nigeria but doesn’t have authorised servicing outlets, you will definitely be discouraged.


    1. Consumers search for distinctiveness.
    2. Consumers search for exclusiveness.
    3. Consumers egotism. They target status display, where interpersonal relationships are of prime importance. Those who are willing to purchase made in Nigeria goods get discriminated against with statements like, “Na Aba made the guy dey wear.” As a result of this some people stop buying made in Nigeria goods to avoid such embarrassing remarks.
    4. Consumers view items from the perspective of culture and identities.Consumers resort to foreign products from countries to which they have a cultural affinity. Items are viewed from group memberships.
    5. Consumers desire products with a brand.
    6. Belief that “if a white man did it, then it is good.”
    7. Consumers don’t have any psychological notion of pride in brands from their own country.
    8. Status definition.Consumers look at need to display income disparity between themselves and others. They aim to show high status mobility, which find expression in the tendency to claim differential status through the exotic foreign brands they consume.
    9. It is believed that people, especially young ones, consider current fashion and trends while buying products. Through television, consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the fashion and trends in other parts of the world. Hence, the fashion and trends dictate preference.


    1. Lack of preference for Nigerian professionals in the execution of all government projects make people think Nigerian products are inferior.
    2. Lack of patronage of Nigerian products by government Ministries, Departments and Agencies releases the sentiment that since government can’t trust them, why should the man on the street trust the Nigerian product?
    3. Personal habits of government officials.

    For instance, if the vice president or governors can be seen wearing made in Nigeria shoes, and they take time to canvass for their patronage, Nigerians will feel obliged to do same.

    It has been noticed that each time any senior government official’s child is getting married or at burials, privileged Nigerians at such occasions can attest to items such as wine, dresses, shoes and other items from such events as being imported from either Europe or the United States of America. This has discouraged interest in Nigerian made products.

    Even those in power, when they are sick instead of going to our own hospitals and clinics around, love travelling abroad, while we have qualified medical practitioners.

    1. Unfavourable government policies such as too many layers of taxation affect the quality of products that come out from the local manufacturers.

    A business analyst suggested that if we want our local products to pick up in sales we may need to force the issue; ultimately, it falls to the government to set trade tariffs to force the price of imported goods to go up so that buying locally made goods becomes attractive to people. For example, if there is a Nigerian car manufacturer that is not getting patronage, put tariff on importation of cars or parts so that people get to buy these cars.

    It was compared that the United States (US) did something like that back in the days when the Japanese manufacturers were dominating the electrical appliances market in the United states


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