The Anambra State Director of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), Mr. Charles Nwoji, has called on Nigerians to drop their preference for foreign goods and patronize made-in-Nigeria products.
Mr. Nwoji made the call recently at a news conference in Awka. He described the patronage of locally made products against their foreign substitutes as a strategic means to encourage local industries and also grow the nation’s economy.
The economy of any nation, he said, grows rapidly when locally made products and services are promoted and patronized by the citizens. “A nation needs to first patronize its own products to grow its economy if the people are sure and proud of their products and service,” he explained.
Nwoji told journalists at the event that NOA had been carrying out sensitization programmes to promote the patronage of local goods. He said there was a need for a sustained national campaign, continuous sensitization and re-orientation of Nigerians, especially Igbo people, to change their attitude towards locally made products.
He said the country needed strong advocacy “to revive the moribund industries in order to create job opportunities and restore the pride of Nigeria as a nation”.
In the long run, the advocacy would help to boost the nation’s foreign reserve and promote the Nigerian spirit, he said. “Charity, they say, begins at home, and truly no nation will develop when its economy is at the mercy of foreign products and services,” he said.
He described developed nations of the world as those whose economies are largely based on production. He said that most Nigerians suffer the desire-for-foreign goods syndrome because of social symbols and the claim that foreign products are superior to their locally-made substitutes.
Mr. Nwoji said although the claim might not be totally wrong, it is worrisome and economically dangerous to abandon locally-made products in preference for foreign goods.
“The worst is that manufacturers in reaction to the development have resorted to deceptive branding of their products with foreign labels and tags. “This translates to giving credit for quality products that were produced in Nigeria to other countries,” he said.
He said the consequence of identity product theft was capable of leading to capital flight and a decline in the nation’s Gross Domestic Product. Mr. Nwoji said that NOA was ready to continue to encourage Nigerian manufacturers to take pride in their own products.
“Our local manufacturers need to appropriately and beneficially showcase Nigerian products and services to the world,” he said.