For the Nigerian economy to grow, there must be a deliberate action towards achieving it and one of those actions is to promote local manufacturing and ensure their patronage.

In simple terms, Nigerians need to start buying made in Nigeria goods but unfortunately, they do not seem willing to do so.

Why are citizens not interested in MIN goods, despite the many campaigns by the federal government as well as efforts by the private sector?

Mr Ken Egbas was a speaker at the 2nd Made In Nigeria Brands Conference which held on Monday at the Adeyemi Bero Auditorium in Alausa, Ikeja.

The WhiteHouse PR Synergy boss sees things from a different perspective.

While many speakers highlighted issues like quality, branding, standardization, funding and other factors that SMEs have to deal with, he believes there are more fundamental issues affecting local content in Nigeria.

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1. Lack of patriotism

How do we feel about our country? This is one reason many Nigerians are not ready to purchase a made in Nigeria product or service.

“It will shock you the number of our children who wallow in abject ignorance about Nigeria. What has happened is that as a nation, our leaders have not focused on what is important,” he said.

The implication of this is that the country has raised a new generation of people who believe anything foreign is better than anything local.

In the context of the theme, he described patriotism as “how we think, how we observe, how we view and what we accept” as a people.

2. Copy and paste

Nigerians love innovation and success, particularly when they are finished products and that is one of the biggest problems.

He said: “We see success all over the world. We love the look and feel of the success but when we want to copy, we don’t pay attention to the processes that gave birth to the product, we just copy the product.”

This is why many products and services created by Nigerians do not resonate with the culture and lifestyle of the people, he opined.

The mindset of Nigerians must change from that which seeks shortcuts or quick fixes to the one that has respect for processes and thoroughness.

3. What are the Nigerian values?

You cannot be talking about pushing products or services without talking about values attached to them.

Nigeria and its citizens have to be known for something that defines them before their products become easy to relate with.

His example is the American people: “You see an American movie at some point you’ll see the values, they always weave it into their story.

“Who is an American? He is seen as a hero. He is a good man who will triumph over bad always; and that is what they project in their foreign policy.

“What do we project in the goods and services that we try to put out there in the market?” he asked.

4. Media irresponsibility

Another issue that makes him sad is the refusal of the media to play their role of educating the people about the need to be patriotic, promoting nationalism, supporting made in Nigeria products and constantly selling the Nigerian value.

He blames the media for what he termed “misappropriation of values” and this he said was evident in the low turnout of media organisations at the conference.

“When your media has the wrong orientation about the things that are supposed to be important to the society, then what is their job?

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