Should Our Traders Be Blamed For Substandard Goods In Nigerian Markets?

By Anayo Nwosu July 5, 2020

Should Our Traders Be Blamed For Substandard Goods In Nigerian Markets?

Do you know that there is a link between the decreasing purchasing power of the populace and the quality of goods and services available in that country?

Of what economic good is it for a trader to stock high quality products he cannot sell even when the buyers desire them but could not afford them?

In a bid to remain in business, the trader would think of ways of getting his manufacturers of the products he sells to produce more affordable goods his customers can easily afford.

The above scenario gave rise to substandard and fairly used items sold all over the world.

In Economics, water must find its level. The prices of normal goods are arrived at when demand meets supply. Meaning that an expensive item of sale can only be sold when it is demanded no matter how desirous the seller is to sell. So, if the buyer’s income is decreasing or disappearing, he or she would have to apportion money available according to needs and their priority.

You can see why our importers have left USA and European suppliers of high quality products and have embraced China and India that can produce goods at affordable prices but with reduced quality?

It is only natural.

There is nothing much the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) can do. It is an inescapable.

If we cannot manufacture the products we need locally, the other option available is for the government to procure directly or through its licenced and monitored agents, as they now do for petrol, the essential goods like drugs and sell at controlled prices. And we are slowly getting there.

However, there is always a market for high quality products at their cost reflective prices but are only affordable to a few right now. The market stocking high quality items would keep getting slimmer as more people migrate from rich to the lower middle class and to the poor ladder.

The worst people on earth are those who blame Igbo traders who junket the whole of Asia trying to get foreign manufacturers or suppliers “ to reduce hand” in making the products their customers can buy. Some of them stock same goods of three qualities: Super Original, Original and Genuine. Christians amongst would tell the customers how long each item can last. Many would just sell it you.

Logically, the quality of products in the Nigerian markets is an economic reflection of the purchasing power of the citizenry. Once the earning power of a people increases, the quality of products on offer will increase.

Ironically, to an Nnewi trader, an original spare part “is the one his customers can easily afford and from which he makes profit”.

I ask again, what sense does it make that a trader stocks goods he cannot sell because his customers cannot afford them?

Whether you believe it or not, a trader is a solution provider not the originators our problems. We buy what we can afford just like many Nnewi people who still attend Ụkaekpele Church do so because of intractable problems and not by choice.

  • Ikenga Ezenwegbu Nnewi,