Traders in Ilorin have called on Nigerians to patronise locally made goods as a means of growing the nation’s economy.
Some of the traders, who spoke in Ilorin on Saturday, expressed worry over Nigerians sentiment against home made products and their preference for foreign products.
A clothes seller at Unity area, Ilorin, Mr Philip Ibenjo said most customers demand for foreign products when they came to his shop.
“Many customers prefer to buy made in Italy products than made in Nigeria. They reject everything made in Nigeria as they perceive it as inferior,” he said.
Another businessman, Mr Clement Adams said many customers prefered buying foreign shoes from him and usually rejected locally made shoes.
“I hardly sell most of my Made in Nigeria wears as many customer will always ask for foreign ones, no matter the effort I made to convince them that the local wears are also good,” he said.
The owner of Classic Boutique, Mrs Tayo Ogundeji advised Nigerians to patronise locally made goods, adding that such products could compete favourably with the foreign ones.
“Allowing importation of foreign goods and influx of foreign materials into the Nigerian market is detrimental to the growth of the local industries.
“Nigerians’ minds have been polluted because 90 per cent prefer foreign products to Nigerian products due to their mentality and mindset that foreign products are better,” she said.
Another business man, Mr Idowu Babatunde said Nigerians had been mentally brainwashed towards foreign goods, adding that Nigerians need to revive their confidence in locally made products.
According to him, too much preference for imported goods over the local ones will kill Nigerian local industries.
Babatunde, however, called on the Federal Government to ban importation of such goods to allow companies producing locally to grow.
Another trader who sells provisions, Mrs Dupe Kareem said that customers prefer to buy foreign biscuits and drinks than those made in Nigeria.
“Most customers are foreign freaks and see nothing good in our locally made products. Many of my made in Nigeria products are becoming outdated because they are not patronised.”
Kareem called on National Orientation Agency (NOA) to embark on awareness campaign to sensitise Nigerians on the need to patronise local goods as it would create jobs for the youths.
“Starting from our various homes, schools, churches, mosques and work place, Nigerian products should be sang as a National Anthem,” she said.