Monday, July 25, 2033
It all started in the early 2000s when different skills acquisition trainings in the country began to include soap production in their curricula.
Before long, many young entrepreneurs began to come out with their brands of liquid soaps to cater for the needs of low and middle income earners.
As was the major challenge faced by products of Nigerian origin, most Nigerians were quick to judge them as deficient in quality.
The last decade has witnessed the government and civil right organizations intensify campaign for consumers’ patronage of SME goods. As a result, the attitude of consumers started to change. Consumers began to come to terms with the fact that the soaps made by these young entrepreneurs are “good enough for their dirt,” despite being cheaper than the ones produced by multinationals. This contributed greatly to the fall in the prices of (liquid) soaps.
The latest survey conducted by NOI Polls revealed that, of the about 100,000 SME companies (mostly business names) registered with Corporate Affairs Commission as soap manufacturers, over 20,000 are still actively and profitably in the business - with 40% having their products distributed in other states.
The survey also revealed that 85% of Nigerians now prefer to purchase their soaps from these SME companies.
The massive campaign for the patronage of products of Nigerian origin has been on for over 10 years; and the effort has yielded enormous results. “One major factor responsible for the success,” according to a Harvard professor of Economics, Prof. Shade Abegunde, “is that the people owned this ‘crusade.’ It was not a campaign to convince the people. It was one that sought to bring out the facts for Nigerians to see: to let our people see how creative they are, the quality of goods that come out of the nation, and the mutual economic benefits to all citizens.
“Everybody has a stake and this was honestly communicated by the government and other organizations who made this happen. It was an economic revolution! And that is why a lot of academics are moving to Nigeria in their droves to study this model.”
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