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Substandard goods: Envoy wants Chinese industries in Nigeria

Nigeria’s Ambassador to China, Baba Ahmad Jidda, has said that there is a need for Chinese industrialists to establish manufacturing plants in the country in order to produce quality products at rates that will not be too exorbitant for Nigerians to buy.

The envoy, who spoke to our correspondent in Beijing on Saturday, noted that the establishment of Chinese manufacturing plants in Nigeria would eliminate the flooding of the market with substandard products from the Asian nation.

Jidda, who blamed Nigerian traders for coming to China to ask that the quality of products meant for the local market should be deliberately lowered in order to make much profits, said one of the ways to check this was the localisation of manufacturing plants in the country by Chinese industrialists and investors.

This, according to him, will eliminate the need to source for foreign exchange with which to import goods from China, including the cost of freight, duty and other associated costs that add up to the prices of such goods.

Jidda stated, “The truth of the matter is that China must protect its own market; it is not surprising that the country has good quality items for its citizens. Nigerian businessmen and women who come to China may compromise quality themselves in order to maximise profit, this is one area; however, the most serious issue is that we want industries.

“We want China to assist us in locating industries in Nigeria so that the products can be manufactured in Nigeria; that way, we will determine the quality; it is not enough to buy, for example, television sets and send to Nigeria, but we want them to have the industries located in Nigeria so that we can have Chinese products made in Maiduguri.

“Our people too have problems, once they come here as businessmen and women, they go to these industries and negotiate to lower prices and quality in order to maximise profits. The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment should support the embassy to see that the Chinese locate industries in Nigeria.”

Jidda called on the Standards Organisation of Nigeria to be alive to its responsibility by ensuring that only quality products pass through the ports and other entry points, adding that product quality ought to be checked at the borders.

On the welfare of Nigerians living in China, the ambassador stated that the host country was very accommodating and was the only country in the world where three consular generals were working with the ambassador in Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Shanghai, adding that in Guangzhou where many Nigerians were doing business, he had not received any negative report as to their conduct.