How dump­ing crip­ples in­dus­tries

It is no se­cret that Nige­ri­ans have been sav­ing for years to buy one dumped item or the other rang­ing from trucks, cars, com­put­ers, elec­tron­ics, hand­sets, cloth­ing, amongst many other prod­ucts.

Daily Trust - - FEATURE - By Ibraheem Hamza Muham­mad Al­haji Sal­isu Ab­dul­lahi, MD Con­ti­nen­tal Mo­tors, Kaduna A closed tex­tile fac­tory in Kaduna. Al­haji Abubakar D. Umar, Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor KAD­POLY Con­sult

AKaduna-based en­tre­pre­neur who op­er­ates a busi­ness cen­tre, Al­haji Aminu Ah­mad Burga Azare, says that in the 1980s, a brand new Mi­nolta pho­to­copier made in Ja­pan, was sold at four thou­sand to four­teen thou­sand naira. While 100 sheets of photo-copy Paper were sold at two naira fifty kobo only.

But a brand new ma­chine is ex­pen­sive and costs be­tween eight hun­dred thou­sand to over one mil­lion naira. He then queried how can a busi­ness cen­tre op­er­a­tor make profit? He said that is why they have all re­sorted to buy­ing fairly used or what econ­o­mists call junk-goods. He said a sec­ond hand pho­to­copier is now bought at the cost of eighty thou­sand naira, while a new one costs eight hun­dred thou­sand naira.

Ac­cord­ing to him, Pana­sonic Ma­chines are small, made in Ja­pan by the for­mer Na­tional Com­pany and can be bought at the rate of 300,000 naira now.

He dis­closed that many busi­ness cen­tres are now us­ing fairly used Sharp or Mi­nolta ma­chines, which cost 80,000 naira to make ends meet.

He said even if the econ­o­mist said Nigeria is a dump­ing ground, how can Nigeria move with­out the fake gen­er­a­tors in the mar­ket?

He as­serted hi­lar­i­ously that if Nige­ri­ans will have “dumped” reg­u­lar sup­ply of elec­tric­ity, they will live bet­ter.

It is on record that many Nige­rian com­pa­nies have trans­ferred their pro­duc­tion base to neigh­bour­ing coun­tries like Ghana, where they have com­par­a­tive ad­van­tage, as elec­tric­ity is in con­stant sup­ply in those ar­eas.

An im­porter of ve­hi­cles, es­pe­cially used cars, Al­haji Sal­isu Ab­dul­lahi who is the Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor of Con­ti­nen­tal Mo­tors Nigeria limited, on Sul­tan Road Kaduna, said it is lack of fore­sight for the govern­ment to say that a new com­pany will come and man­u­fac­ture cars in Nigeria. Most of the pop­u­lace can­not af­ford it, as the “Tokunbo” or used cars is the vogue all over Nigeria due to the hy­per-in­fla­tion­ary trend of the naira by many suc­ces­sive gov­ern­ments.

He asked how the age-old Peu­geot as­sem­bling plant in Kaduna is far­ing, talk­less of a new one. There are many other co­matose plants like volk­swa­gen cars, Ley­land trucks in La­gos, Fiat in Kano, Steyr in Bauchi, amongst oth­ers, which have since left for their re­spec­tive coun­tries.

Al­most all the trucks, namely: DAF, Ley­land, MAN-Diesel, among oth­ers, ply­ing the Nige­rian Roads with ei­ther oil, goods or what­so­ever, and Cars whether Jeeps or commercial taxis, are dumped as the new ones, can­not be eas­ily bought.

You don’t need an econ­o­mist to know that when a com­pany closes its doors, ev­ery­body feels the pain be it the govern­ment which is los­ing in tax rev­enue, the sup­pli­ers of diesel and the com­mu­nity where the in­dus­try was lo­cal­ized, staff and the aux­il­iary in such ser­vices. While the new com­mu­nity ben­e­fits fully from the loss in­curred from that of the for­mer com­mu­nity.

Al­haji Sal­isu Ab­dul­lahi queried how much is the salary of a Nige­rian worker, for him to be able to af­ford a brand new car. He said the cheap­est new cars are chi­nese mod­els which are not as durable as Euro­pean or Ja­panese brands, and are be­yond the reach of many as they are up to a mil­lion per piece. He there­fore called on the govern­ment to pro­vide elec­tric­ity first, be­fore it talks of hav­ing a sus­tained econ­omy, in­stead of re­ly­ing heav­ily on dump­ing of al­most ev­ery­thing.

A Chief lec­turer and Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor of Kaduna Polytech­nic (Kad­poly Con­sult) Limited Al­haji Abubakar Danasabe Umar, said to a lay man dump­ing is the sit­u­a­tion whereby an in­di­vid­ual or a so­ci­ety or a coun­try ac­cepts what­ever goods or ser­vices is fed to that coun­try, so­ci­ety or an in­di­vid­ual, ir­re­spec­tive of the qual­ity, to sat­isfy the needs of the coun­try amongst oth­ers. In most cases the re­cip­i­ent coun­try had no al­ter­na­tive than to ac­cept that.

He said dump­ing is al­ways detri­men­tal to the coun­try where the items are dumped.

He added that the African De­vel­op­ment Ini­tia­tive (ADI) spon­sored farm­ers to pro­duce cot­ton in West Africa and take it to the US. But we don’t have func­tional tex­tiles.

He re­torted that Fun­tua, Kano, Kaduna, Gusau, are good pro­duc­ers of cot­ton, but our tex­tiles are dead. Lay­ing off of tex­tile per­son­nel has led to crimes, while a hun­gry man prefers to eat cas­sava and die than not to eat at all. If the coun­try is bent on growth and de­vel­op­ment, it can com­pete fa­vor­ably.

The man­age­ment con­sul­tant how­ever ques­tioned the re­cent state­ment by the Fi­nance Min­is­ter Dr Ngozi Okon­joIweala that: “How did she de­fine eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment, while the coun­try is a dump­ing ground?

What you need to see on the street is not what you see on paper. Go round and see on the aver­age, the type of taxis, buses, pri­vate cars ply­ing the roads.

But in a whole coun­try like Nigeria, what you get are youths ready-for-hire to per­pe­trate any act. Even the SURE-P buses, cars and tri­cy­cles are ro­bustly in­ad­e­quate. It is not felt at the grass­root.

What is the con­tin­u­ing de­vel­op­ment of the Abuja and Kano and few other cities with roads, in­fra­struc­ture while most of the cities are ret­ro­gress­ing in power, in­fra­struc­ture, se­cu­rity, amongst many oth­ers, he re­tort.

He said Min­is­ter Okonjo-Iweala should know that it does not take a statis­ti­cian to know whether there is growth or de­vel­op­ment in a city or not. What she is say­ing is grossly mis­lead­ing to Nige­ri­ans.

It is sad that Nigeria has many good poli­cies, but the im­ple­men­ta­tion is the prob­lem as ret­ro­gres­sion in­stead of pro­gres­sion in the bane. “No power, no de­vel­op­ment” to ser­vice Big, Medium, mi­cro and Nano in­dus­tries.

Nige­ri­ans would not mind if ‘ dump’ elec­tric­ity would be made avail­able for the in­dus­tries to work well, and even em­ploy the teem­ing youths on the street.

How­ever, the fa­mous Kaduna In­dus­trial area which com­prises many fac­to­ries and tex­tiles has now be­come a ghost of it­self, as some do not even have a se­cu­rity guard to over­see the de­cay­ing ma­chines.

The im­por­ta­tion of tex­tile ma­te­ri­als like clothes and cloth­ing ma­te­ri­als has crip­pled the tex­tiles. One of the cap­tains of in­dus­try in Nigeria and Deputy Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor of a tex­tile in Kaduna Se­na­tor Walid Jib­rin, could not be reached for com­ments on the grant worth bil­lions of naira to re­vive the tex­tile sec­tor. How­ever, it was al­leged that the clo­sure of these com­pa­nies due to dump­ing has in­creased the num­ber of crimes in the coun­try, and the scourge sadly is on the in­crease, but for how long, only time will tell.

PHO­TOS IBRAHEEM HAMZA MUHAM­MAD

Sec­ond hand SUVs for sale in Nigeria.

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