The hashtag #BuyNaijaToGrowTheNaira has been trending on Twitter and Facebook; a campaign that will be significant in saving our dying economy.
For long, Asian and American goods have flooded the Nigerian market, stifling the innovation of Nigerians and enriching the importing countries. Aba made goods have to be shipped to China and other Asian countries before they can be valued by Nigerians and have had a hard time making it here. However, times are beginning to change. Somewhere in Nnewi, a small town in Southeastern Nigeria, Mr. Innocent Chukwuma and his team, Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Company, manufacture cars locally; and of recent have delivered the first set of locally manufactured cars, an SUV and a Sedan, to Senator Ben Bruce Murray. Innoson Group of Companies, founded in 1981 under the name Innoson Nigeria Ltd, is one of the very few manufacturing companies in Nigeria and are also into manufacturing of plastics and spare parts for vehicles. Innoson ventured into car manufacturing since 1994, starting as a relationship with Chinese car manufacturers, where they produced spare parts before graduating into vehicles.
In a campaign to save the Naira, Sen. Ben Bruce began last week to support his campaigns by buying Aba-made shoes. Many Nigerians have joined in the revolutionary queue, a line which will determine how far funds will be siphoned back into the Nigerian economy from foreign countries. Bruce and Nigerians are tweeting Aba-Made goods, Arik air flights, NASCO cornflakes, tea from Taraba, handcrafted clothing and footwear, phone cases and even tourist sites, as Gov. Abubakar of Bauchi State tweets “It is now too expensive to go to London, Dubai and America. Come and holiday in Yankari.”
Perhaps, this is just what Nigerians need, the encouragement to boost their market. Nothing can be as dampening to the entrepreneurial spirit as not being able to sell. Senator Bruce is passionate about Nigeria, urging us “to put our money where our mouth is by patronizing made in Nigeria goods to strengthen the value of the Naira.”
As the Naira continues to plunge, and the campaigns continue to grow, it is the hope of many Nigerians that government would support locally made goods and set restrictions on importation and diversify exportation of products other than oil and gas.