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|BBC -nigeria's Expert Copy-cats by bashr8: 2:24pm On Oct 05, 2012|
Nigeria's expert copy-cats
By Dan Isaacs
BBC, Lagos, Nigeria
If you saw a product labelled "made in Nigeria" in your local shop would you buy it?
Cheap imitations of popular brands flood the market
Maybe you would think twice.
Not only are Nigerian goods not known for their quality, but the country's manufacturing sector has been so run-down over the years that the export of processed products has all but collapsed.
It is partly as a result of poor economic management over the years, and partly because those goods that are produced are often labelled as having been made elsewhere.
Nnewi is a small town in south-eastern Nigeria with noisy streets, dilapidated buildings, and crowded markets - typical of so many in Nigeria.
But in a country where the manufacturing sector has all but collapsed under the weight of bad roads, intermittent power supply and limited pipe-borne water provision, the town is struggling against the odds.
Small and medium sized industries have set up here, and are producing not only for the Nigeria market, but also - albeit still to a limited extent - for markets abroad.
Genuine and fake goods are all available at Onitsha market
"We are proud of what we are making. It may not yet compete with equipment from UK and Germany. But because we have a name to protect, we are striving all the time to improve our quality," says local businessman Sam Chukwujekwu, whose factory makes machine tools, lathes, saws, and boilers.
On the shop floor Mr Chukwujekwu told me about the problems of the absence of mains power, lack of water, and communications.
"What we do is that we run our generator. For water, we harness rainwater," he says.
These problems increase his production costs by 25%, he says.
Mr Chukwujekwu makes sure his products bear the name not only of the country of manufacture, but also his home town, Nnewi.
[b]But some firms in the area are somewhat less scrupulous about labelling their goods, well aware that even for the Nigerian market, goods which say "Made in Nigeria" will not sell next to those from abroad.
The main outlet for the goods is the vast Onitsha market - one of the biggest in West Africa.
And all around the market are products that are made here - car spares, t-shirts, shoes - absolutely everything. And most of them say they are made elsewhere.
In one shop there are Nike and Adidas shoes. Peugeot car parts, Bosch car parts - the list goes on and on across this vast market.
Just down the roads is a factory producing car spares of all kinds - from batteries to brake pads.
I went to meet the factory's general manager, Emmanuel Agu to ask him why his company was somewhat economical with the truth about some of its labelling.
We are in deeper slumber now. In another ten years we will be more than 20 years behind
"You see, a lot of people buy reliable products, known names. And the only way that you can compete is to make those brands for them," he said.
Mr Agu denied that he was cheating his customers.
"[size=15pt]The label doesn't say 'Made in Japan' it just says a company name and then 'Japan'.[/size]
"It is all part of the survival strategy, because when you are operating in a system that you have everything stacked against you, there are a few things that you have to do to survive".
The irony is that no international manufacturer or designer is likely to prosecute for copyright infringement.
Very few of these products make it outside Nigeria' s borders, and the volume of production is probably too small to bother with.
But ultimately, many of the manufacturers here do want to compete on equal terms, with goods that proudly say "Made in Nigeria".
But factory manager Emmanuel Agu is not optimistic about the future. "I think we went to sleep. We relied too much on oil and it made everybody lazy, especially the leaders.
"Quite frankly. I think the country was better in 1960 than it is today," says Mr Agu.
He feels that Nigeria is still to wake up.
Every designer name is available
"I think we are in deeper slumber now. In another 10 years, we will be more than 20 years behind," he says.
It is a real problem for Nigerian entrepreneurs.
[size=15pt]Fighting against a decaying infrastructure and all the extra costs that it entails and yet determined to produce and sell their goods in competition with products from abroad.[/size]
Their survival strategy of labelling goods as if they were made abroad is just part of their solution.
It is not only a breach of copyright regulations, but it also means that Nigerian-made brands - however good the quality - will never gain that reputation for themselves.
|Re: BBC -nigeria's Expert Copy-cats by bashr8: 2:25pm On Oct 05, 2012|
[size=15pt]The label doesn't say 'Made in Japan' it just says a company name and then 'Japan[/size]
|Re: BBC -nigeria's Expert Copy-cats by billante(m): 5:27pm On Oct 05, 2012|
Very hilarous article!
|Re: BBC -nigeria's Expert Copy-cats by Nobody: 5:44pm On Oct 05, 2012|
bashr8: Nigeria's expert copy-catshow is the red coloured related to this report by bbc?
|Re: BBC -nigeria's Expert Copy-cats by redsun(m): 6:11pm On Oct 05, 2012|
The ills of "unpatriotism".Nigerians unpatriotic nature is detrimental to human evolution.Nigerian manufacturing industry is like an egg that is taking ages to crack,It is cracked open,with the chick head popping out while the rest of the body is still intact in the egg.Not still hatch,but at the same not successful hatch.
|Re: BBC -nigeria's Expert Copy-cats by htajz: 12:59pm On Oct 17, 2012|
are all these really being produced in nigeria?
|Re: BBC -nigeria's Expert Copy-cats by Boicc(m): 2:24pm On Oct 17, 2012|
who talk say Igbos no dey too much.D gud news z dat Innoson has startd manufacturin cars here in 9ja,Nnewi 2 b precise,he imports only d engine.how i wish d whole 9ja z innovative 2 dis extent.for shoes n slippers,i dont buy dem rather i do dem by myself.
NB...i dont write "made in japan"..jux d name n JAPAN..lolzz
daalu nu ooo..hhahahha
|Re: BBC -nigeria's Expert Copy-cats by FrankC3: 3:41pm On Oct 17, 2012|
For those who understands, this report is really part of British colonial strategy of telling us that we are not good enough. How can one Mr Chukwujekwu tell them that he uses rain water for manufacturing. Come on!, things are not really that bad. Private homes sink borehole not to talk of businesses. Do you know how many homes have private boreholes in one village alone in Nnewi?
This is about telling us that the things we manufacture are fakes. It is about discouraging the use of made in Nigeria products, after all, the trade balance tilts in their favor. Big companies have plants here in Nigeria, is BBC telling us that their products are bad too? Close Up, Indomie, Cement, Cutix cable in thesame Nnewi, Delta Soap, etc. These are manufactured in Nigeria and their product is often better than most of our imports from China. And our manufacturing zones are not always noisier or dirtier or less equipped that the ones in China. If our products are that bad, how come that it is difficult to differentiate Aba made TM or Giant wears from those made in UK. The recession is biting hard and they are looking for destinations for their products.
Nigerians, know when there is a trade war on. China copied and still copy. Huawei copied Cisco but today is a leading telecom vendor. For Nigeria's policy makers, this is a time to know that we are on the right track. We are getting the kind of attention China got. We should sustain the tempo and encourage local consumption by further jacking up import duties on imported stuff. NAFDAC, SON and other regulatory agencies should step in to strengthen product quality, not because BBC says we have low quality products but because we want to consume and export better products to other African countries.
And for those who desire bad news about Nigeria, you can enjoy this poo while the business men and entrepreneurs continues to make money.
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