The Made in Nigeria campaign to push import substitution is the country’s response to the painful period of recession and foreign exchange shortages it is experiencing as a result of low oil prices and its failure to diversify its revenue stream away from oil, WRITES DIANNA GAMES.
But it is nothing new. Previous administrations have touted this concept and there have been a few successes, but many failures. Governments have paid lip service to the concept, allowing Nigeria to become one of the most difficult and costly countries in which to do business in the world. They have failed to put in place the building blocks of a local industrialisation process, and it has gained little traction.
The current economic woes have forced the administration of Muhammadu Buhari to dust off the localisation project. and take another look. But while the concept is simple, application is difficult in a country that spends more than $6bn on basic foodstuffs alone and whose consumers have long shown a preference for imports over local goods. As one critic wrote in a local newspaper: "The point is not about being local or patriotic; it is about developing the capacity to turn Nigeria into a world-class production and economic centre.