Local manufacturing, key to growth of consumer sector’
Local manufacturers have been urged to partner with the consumer retail sector to boost supply shortfalls caused by the current slump in the global economy and COVID-19 fuelled market disruptions.
Chief Executive Officer of FoodCo Nigeria Limited, Ade Sun-Basorun, made the call on the heels of recent data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), which showed that the manufacturing sector recorded a real GDP growth of 3.49 per cent in the second quarter of the year compared with an 8.78 per cent decline recorded within the same period last year.
Noting that the figures showed that the Nigerian market was picking up pace despite the disruptions to the economy, Sun-Basorun stated that a lot still needs to be done, especially in meeting local demands for consumer goods both as a lifestyle essential and as an important driver of economic activity.
He said: “The consumer goods sector, like others, is having its fair share of pandemic-induced challenges including forex scarcity, rising inflation and import bottlenecks. These, combined with a shrinking disposable income, have made many foreign products, which hitherto posed a fierce competition to local players, out of reach for many consumers.
“The situation, therefore, presents a unique opportunity for local manufacturers and cottage industries to step up to the challenge of providing cost effective alternatives at the same or even better quality.
“Looking at the NBS report, three segments – cement, food and beverages, and textiles – generated about 77 per cent of the total output value in the manufacturing sector.”
“However, there are huge gaps of untapped opportunities in other categories such as apparel, footwear, cosmetics, toiletries, wood and wood products, among others.”
While reiterating the company’s commitment to supporting local manufacturing, the FoodCo boss called on sector players to seize the changing dynamics to forge strategic partnerships that will enhance their visibility and open them to growth frontiers.
He said: “As a brand, we have been deliberate in maintaining a balance between ensuring that our customers have access to the products they love, and supporting the local industry to ensure that they produce products our customers love. This is why we continue to make investments to build capacity in the local small and medium scale enterprise and cottage communities.”