Nigerians Express Support for the Made-In-Nigeria Dress Days as a Means to stimulate Economic Growth

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Latest public opinion poll conducted by NOIPolls has revealed overwhelming support by Nigerians (83 percent) regarding the Monday and Wednesday native dress days proposed by the Presidency. This policy was addressed in a letter to the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) as an outcome of the Federal Executive Council Meeting in a bid to encourage patronage of Made-in-Nigeria goods. The survey findings also revealed a low level of awareness on the proposed dress days as 74 percent stated that they were not aware of this new policy. This suggests that more effort needs to be put in place by NICO to ensure public awareness and sensitization of these dress days when it’s fully implemented.

More findings from the survey indicated that 95 percent of Nigerians wear Made-in-Nigeria dresses and this is reflective of their love for culture and tradition and the fact that Nigeria is a nation blessed with heterogeneous, deep cultural heritages and enclaves which manifest in dress types and choices. With this figure, it is expected that Nigerians would support a policy or decision by the presidency on such national issues. Reasons for support of the policy included; it promotes our cultural heritage and national identity (33 percent), it will boost the economy (17 percent), it will increase the patronage of locally made clothes (16 percent) amongst reasons. Contrarily, the 17 percent who did not support the policy were of the opinion that it shouldn’t be imposed on Nigerians (33 percent), it’s unprofessional (20 percent) and that Government should focus on the economy rather than clothes (14 percent) amongst others.

Furthermore, the survey measured the likelihood of Nigerians wearing Made-in-Nigeria dresses on Monday’s and Wednesday’s and research findings revealed that 81 percent said they are likely to wear Made-in-Nigeria dresses on these days while 19 percent said that they are unlikely to adopt the policy.

Finally, about 9 in 10 Nigerian’s (89 percent) are positive that the outcome of the support to wear Made-in-Nigeria clothes on the proposed dress days will boost the Nigerian economy. The statement ‘‘Buy Naija, to grow the Naira’’ as an adopted mantra needs to be taken beyond talk to action and the policy of these dress days is one way to do so. The theory, principle, and practice of Africapitalism can only be successful through sustainable synergistic approaches such as formulating informed data-based policies, decisions and bilateral trade agreements targeted at improving the economy.

Brief Background:

President Muhammadu Buhari on a letter dated 4th April 2017 addressed to the Executive Secretary of National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) declared Mondays and Wednesdays every week, as Made-in-Nigeria Dress Days across the country. This letter was a follow-up on the outcome of the Federal Executive Council Meeting (FEC) on the 1st February 2017 as part of measures to uplift the nation’s culture and promote Made-in-Nigeria textile products.

President Buhari further directed that a presentation on the Made-in-Nigeria Campaign be made to the National Economic Council to secure the buy-in of State Governments. As a follow-up to the letter, the Minister of Information & Culture, Lai Mohammed, asked the Management of NICO to provide a comprehensive proposal on how to effectively implement the policy in a manner that would encourage all Nigerians to conveniently observe the Made-in-Nigeria Dress Days. The Made-in-Nigeria campaign which kick-started last year at the 22nd summit of the National Economic Council is still an ongoing discuss and is part of the measures adopted by the government to conserve foreign exchange, stimulate economic growth and create jobs.

The purpose and intention of the Made in Nigeria dress days are to influence the orientation in consumption pattern by shifting the mindset and preference of Nigerians for anything imported and foreign-made to patronizing Made-in-Nigeria products. In view of this background, NOIPolls conducted a topical poll to gauge the perception and level of Nigerians regarding the Made in Nigeria dress day’s policy by the presidency.

Survey Findings:

Nigeria is blessed with diverse cultures and heritage and these affect the way Nigerians dress and socialize. The different ethnic and religious groups have peculiar cultural enclaves which shape their dress patterns. This is mostly noticeable on Fridays and Sundays as most Nigerians appear on different indigenous designs of apparels and attires. Although there is an argument if the materials are locally or foreign mass-produced but it is agreeable that the sewing is mostly by indigenous fashion designers. Till now,working class Nigerians mostly wear corporate attires from Mondays to Thursdays and other related endeavors, while they typically dress down on Fridays. Some organizations do not hold this in strict consideration, unlike most formal business communities.

In other to ascertain the level of patronage of Made-in-Nigeria clothes, respondents to the survey were asked if they wear Made-in-Nigeria dresses. The survey result revealed that majority of Nigerians (95 percent) wear Made-in-Nigeria clothes and this is reflective of their love for culture and tradition. Analysis by geopolitical zone further revealed that South-West (98 percent) and South-East (97 percent) accounted for the zones where Made-in-Nigeria clothes are mostly worn.

There was media recognition following the letter by the presidency on the Made-in-Nigeria dress days, so in order to measure the level of awareness of the policy, the respondents were further asked if they were aware of the policy. The survey results revealed that majority of Nigerians (74 percent) were not aware while 26 percent showed aware.

Furthermore, the South-East zone (33 percent) recorded the highest level of awareness while the North-Central (79 percent) and South-West (79 percent) zones recorded the highest number of people who showed a lack of awareness. This indicates a pressing need to increase the level of awareness regarding the policy through adequate media channels prior to its adoption and implementation as it will drive the Made-in-Nigeria campaign.

One of the negative effects of acculturation in Nigeria is the excessive dependence on foreign products which the new policy is intended to combat partly.  To ascertain the level of support for the Made-in-Nigeria days’ policy, respondents were further asked if they supported it. From the poll results, it is clear that majority (83 percent) were in support while (17 percent) were not in support. Analysis by geopolitical zone revealed that North-West (88 percent) and North-East (85 percent) had the highest support

The survey further sought the reasons from respondents for supporting the policy. Of the 83 (percent) who showed support for the policy, 33 percent stated that ‘‘it promotes our cultural heritage and national identity’’, 17 percent said that ‘‘it will boost our economy’’ and 16 percent said that ‘‘it will increase the patronage of locally made clothes’’ amongst other reasons.

Furthermore, the survey also measured the perception of the respondents who said they were not in support of the proposed policy. The result revealed that of the 17 percent who were not in support, 33 percent said ‘‘it shouldn’t be imposed on Nigerians’’, 20 percent said ‘‘it’s unprofessional’’ and 14 percent were of the view that ‘‘Government should focus on the economy, not clothes’’ amongst other reasons.

The survey also measured the likelihood of Nigerians wearing Made-in-Nigeria dresses on Mondays and Wednesdays and it revealed that 81 percent (27 percent + 54 percent) said they are ‘‘likely’’ and ‘‘very likely’’, to wear them on those days respectively. On the other hand, 19 percent (8 percent + 11 percent) said that they are ‘‘very unlikely’’ and ‘‘unlikely’’ to wear them on those days respectively. Analysis across geopolitical zones revealed that the North-East (88 percent: 24 percent + 64 percent) and North-West (86 percent: 22 percent + 64 percent) had the highest level of likelihood to wear them while the South-South (31 percent: 12 percent +19 percent) and South-East (26 percent: 14 percent + 12 percent) had the highest of unlikelihood of support.

Finally, in order to ascertain the claim by the presidency that the policy will stimulate economic growth, the respondents were asked if they think their support would boost our economy. On this, the survey revealed that 89 percent of the respondents were positive that the outcome of the support to wear Made-in-Nigeria clothes on those proposed dress days will boost our economy while 11 percent were of a contrary opinion. Analysis by gender interestingly, revealed that more males (91 percent) were more optimistic about the outcome of the support when compared with the 87 percent female respondents.

In conclusion, a majority of Nigerians are not aware of the proposed policy by the Presidency and this is suggestive of the need for NICO to put in more efforts in communicating the policy through different media channels prior or after its successful implementation. The statement ‘‘Buy Naija, to grow the Naira’’ as an adopted mantra needs to be taken beyond talk to action and the policy of these dress days is one way to do so. Nigerians should see more reasons to buy Made-in-Nigeria products and there should be sustainable policy implementation in relation to imported goods and our export potential.

Africapitalism is another critical strategy to be considered for growing our economy and it can only be successful through sustainable synergistic approaches such as formulating informed data-based policies, decisions and bilateral trade agreements targeted at improving the economy. This will support the growth, development, and sustainability of indigenous businesses especially the Nigerian textile industry. As the government through the National Economic Council is encouraging Nigerians to buy Made-in-Nigeria goods and services, they should ensure that the ease of doing business of which Nigeria is currently ranked 169th in the world is improved upon even as they would soon commence the implementation of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.

 

 

 

(NOI-POLLS)

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