The Chinese Government has debunked claims by some Nigerian businessmen that it dumps fake and substandard goods in their market.
Rather, the Asian citizens accused Nigerian business men of insisting that quality specification be reduced to reduce cost when they want to import products from them.
The Organising Committee of China International Auto Products EXPO (CIAPE) Vice Chairman, Mrs. Zhang Yazhu, who stated this, urged the Federal Government to put policies in place to bar importers from asking for and importing low quality goods.
He spoke in Lagos at the Lagos Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI) and Nigeria- China Auto Parts Economic & Trade Seminar & Business Matchmaking Meeting.
She expressed regrets over the dubiousness of a majority of importers who she accused of rubbishing the name of her country for business.
She said when the goods were imported what the public would know is that they were worthless.
According to Yazhu, Chinese businessmen love money just like their Nigerian counterparts and may be lured into making quick money due to the pressure of quick gain.
She, however, said Chinese products were sold all over the world without complaints of sub- standardisation.
She, therefore, urged policy makers to embark on advocacy that would encourage importers to act with good conscience as far as the lives of their citizenry were concerned.
She said: “We have big and reliable manufacturers in China recognised by our home government, but if a Nigerian importer decides to buy from the streets, the Government of China will not be held responsible for buying poor quality goods.
Yazhu said the essence of the expo was to showcase reliable manufacturers from China. “My argument and sincere advice is that Nigerians should stop asking our manufacturers for lower quality goods.
“The Chinese auto parts market is growing in leaps and bounds and we have even gone past that to engage in energy cars. As a country with a huge population, we are happy doing business with Nigeria but their business men must play by the rules,” she said.
Advisory Partner & Chief Economist, PriceWaterHouseCoopers (PWC), Dr. Andrew S. Nevin, said Nigeria could be a top car manufacturer if the right policy was in place. He regretted that over 86 per cent of cars sold last year in Nigeria were second hand.
Nevin urged that the gap between cars made outside Nigeria and those inside it be bridged, noting that it is the only way the economy would grow. He regretted that South Africa with smaller population has a thriving car industry unlike in Nigeria where used cars are the order of the day.
On why the auto sector is not developed, Nevin attributed it to lack of an effective auto finance system. He regretted that 87 per cent of cars sold locally were sold in cash, while only a miserly 17 per cent of the cars are financed, especially for those who work in blue chip companies.
While stressing that no economy could grow without basic structures in place, Nevin said: “There is the need to check the uncontrolled dumping of Tokunbo cars in the country in addition to the importers paying the right duties for imported cars.
“The government should also work on the structuring of auto parts to ensure strategic distribution and marketing that will ensure that only genuine products are sold unlike the current situation where counterfeit products are passed as genuine parts.”
Nevin said Nigeria could become a car hub where various brands of cars were manufactured in five years, if the right policies were in place and implemented.
A Chevrolet brand importer, Mr. Gabrial Omowunmi, narrated his experience on his first visit to China. He said he was apprehensive as he thought every Chinese product was fake. He, however, said that to his dismay, his Chinese partners complained that it is only Nigerians and Angolans that insisted on their producing fake and substandard products.
Omowunmi advised that stricter measures be put in place for imported products to ensure that quality goods are imported, especially now that there is recession.
Earlier, LCCI President Mrs. Nike Akande said the auto and allied products sector was crucial to economic growth.
She observed that over 90 per cent of the haulage of goods and the movement of persons were done through road transportation. She, therefore, canvassed the revitalisation of the railways.