The campaign for Nigerians to patronize home-made products has taken another dimension as Collins Oscar and other co-founders are opening a company where foreign goods are prohibited.
The new company which will be launched in September is strictly made for Nigerian products.
Just Like what is obtainable with Made-In-China.com, an aggregator of solely Chinese products, the Akwa Ibom based company is carving a niche in the Nigerian space.
Collins Oscar the Chief Executive Officer and ten others first founded a company, Made In Akwa Ibom Showroom four years ago in Akwa Ibom State.
After successful running of Made In Akwa Ibom, Oscar is now eyeing a bigger market which will only sell made in Nigerian products from Aba and Lagos among others.
Made In Akwa Ibom
In most mega shops in Nigeria, a large amount of the products are usually imported. The smaller shops are not left out in the penchant for foreign goods.
To reduce Nigeria’s foreign trade deficits, the Federal Government has launched an aggressive campaign for the patronage and use of made-in Nigeria products and services.
At the 13th National Council of Industry, Trade and Investment, the campaign for the patronage and use of made-in-Nigeria products and services was unveiled.
In April, the government called on Nigerians to promote the diversification of the economy patronizing on our local production sectors.
Oscar who controls over 80 per cent stake in the new company ‘Made In Nigeria Showroom’ said in chat with THE WHISTLER, that the company conceived as a result of the limitations of selling only products from Akwa Ibom State.
The CEO said, “It is a marketplace where we sell only made in Nigeria Products. We started with Made in Akwa Ibom products for four years. Made in Nigeria is part of our expansion plan so that we will not be running out of options when customers ask for other products and we do not have because it is limited to made in Akwa Ibom.
“The made in Akwa Ibom and Made in Nigeria will function as two separate businesses.
“Right from when we started Made in Akwa Ibom products, the impact is to promote only indigenous products, so, it’s been resonating with us. Just promoting locally made products, I know what we have been suffering doing made in Akwa Ibom and it has become big and we were rejecting products from Abia State, Lagos State as though it is not one Nigeria.”
One of the challenges Made In Nigeria will face is the big competitors like Marketsquare that sells both Nigeria and foreign products, but the founder said Nigerians’ taste for local products have changed.
The CEO said when they first founded Made In Akwa Ibom, many Nigerians did not believe they would be able to survive the highly competitive environment.
Oscar said, “Even before I started Made in Akwa Ibom, people asked how we will survive. Although we never saw it that way because passion can blind you from seeing a whole lot of things, we never saw any limitation. Some said Made in Akwa Ibom will be limited and we will be losing out.
“Our rent alone in running Made in Akwa Ibom per annum was N11 million. So, they wondered how we will survive when people may come in with like N100,000 and can’t find, pampers or what they want.
“But honestly, Made in Akwa Ibom has been able to give birth to Made in Nigeria, which means it has been successful even with some serious limitations. So, people still pay their way very far because of the niche we have carved for ourselves. They know the things there are so natural and have no chemical preservatives. There are people who are so patriotic and can go a long distance to buy made in Nigeria products. For me I prefer using made in Nigeria products. From my experience, Nigerians’ appetite for made in Nigeria products have increased.”
According to the entrepreneur, his target is to expand to other Nigerian states and the European market.
He added, “So that when you find yourself in Paris, England, India and the rest, you can walk into shops and find Made in Nigeria products.”