Buy Naija To Grow The Naira By Sen. Ben Bruce

Many Nigerians are complaining about theconstant fall in the value of
the naira and they blame the government. But is the government really
to blame? In truth, our insatiable appetite for all things foreign is
to blame. No nation can become great if it is clothed, serviced and
fed by other nations. It just will not happen. In lay man's terms, a
nation's currency is like a promise by the issuing authority, in this
case the Nigerian Government, to pay holders of the currency. In other
words, currency is an assurance by a governmenton goods and
services.What happens when we spend our naira buying imported items
and not made-in-Nigeria products is that our government is assuring
the nation's from which those imports come from and not our own
nation. So imagine this scenario, imagine that Nigeria and other
nations are football teams. How can we win if our supporters club
keeps patronising other teams and not our own football team?This is
the self-inflicted injury we have inflicted on our dear naira and
instead of blaming ourselves we are blaming government. I always fly
Arik business class whenever I am travelling abroad except Arik does
not fly on that route. Not only is an Arik ticket a fraction of the
cost of a British Airways ticket, but the money Ipay to Arik
circulates in Nigeria and helps firm up the naira's value. As I speak
to youtoday, a British Airways business class to London is N2,103,666
while Arik business class is N551,545, yet our elite still fly BA.But
though Arik offers an affordable alternative to British Airways and
other foreign airlines, our big men prefer to pay double what Arik
charges to BA and other foreign airlines for the same services and yet
they complain about the value of the naira. Arik's planes are brand
new and aremore comfortable than British Airways. I know that for a
fact because I have flown both. If we do not fly Arik, who would?I
have Nasco cornflakes and I have eaten Kellogs cornflakes. In terms of
nutrition and taste they are almost indistinguishable. Yet our elite
who will rather eat Kellogs than Nasco cornflakes, wonder why the
naira is falling! Even something like Quaker Oats can be substituted
with corn meal known locally as pap. Obasanjo Farms of Nigeria and
other large scale poultry farms have the capacity to provide chicken
for the entire nation. Since that is the case, why are we even buying
imported chicken?Imported chicken may be cheaper in financial terms
but it is more expensive in health terms. These birds are heavily
treated with various chemicals to plump them up and preserve them and
artificially enhance their taste and by the time they hit our shores
they are not as safe to consume as our domestic chicken. In fact, what
is wrong if every family in Nigeria has a poultry in their backyard to
give them eggs and meat? It is feasible. It is not beneath us.My
steward went to Makoko, which is oneof the largest fishing communities
in Lagos. He wanted to buy fish and they were selling imported frozen
fish!Yet in the very waters in front of them, there exist fresh fish
that is more nutritious than the cheap frozen fish they were selling.
We keep spending over N1 billion importing rice when our own farmers
are capable of meeting our national demand for rice. But for some
reason, Nigerians just prefer to buy imported rice. The imported rice
we buy inNigeria is not as good as our local rice because it has been
stored for years in silos and treated with chemicals.Moreover, every
time you buy it, your money is going out of Nigeria to service an
economy in Asia. The end result is that their currency gains value
while ours loses value. Have you ever wondered whyEuropean Premiership
clubs are so interested in Nigeria? It is because Nigerians spend
billions travelling to Europe to watch their games, buy their
merchandise and promote their leagues. Yet, back at home, we would not
be caught dead watching our own local league.If we will not spend
money on made-in-Nigeria goods and services, how can we expect our
naira to hold its value and appreciate?Obviously we cannot cut
ourselves off from the world. No nation is an island, but at least we
can fly Nigerian airlines, eat locally produced food and patronise our
football league. If we do this, not only will our economy grow and
produce jobs for Nigerians, it will also make our goods andservices
improve in value such that they will be attractive enough to be
imported.We may approach the United Kingdom for loans to fund the 2016
budget. The funniest thing is that the British Prime Minister,
DavidCameron, is famous for using the London Underground public
transport facilities. What is wrong if our ministers use public
transportation once in a while? What is wrong if they enter a taxi to
work? And even if we must buy cars for government officials why must
we buy foreign cars?Silverbird bought Innoson vehicles as official
cars for our staff. The buses are roomy, very comfortable and
extremely durable. I have never lived to regret these purchases for
even a day. But most of all, Iknow that my purchase helps to keep jobs
in Nigeria and improve the value of the naira. I urge you to do the
same. We have no other country but Nigeria and it is you and I that
will make it what it is.Can you imagine how far Innoson would go if we
spent the N30 billion we use in buying cars for our elected and
appointed officials at the federal, state and local government levels
on Innoson vehicles? We must make hard choices if we want Nigeria to
be better and spending borrowed money on convoys for elected officials
is not a priority. It is a luxury that Nigeria cannot afford at this
time in her history. If we buy Naija We Will Grow the Naira.Finally, I
must say that I am pleasantly surprised at the level of support the
hashtag, #BuyNaijaToGrowTheNaira has gotten since I originated it on
Twitter. Within three days, the hashtag had featured on the BBC and on
CNN.Let me thank the ordinary Nigerians who joined me in making the
hashtag take off. If you are manufacturer or provider of
made-in-Nigeria goods and services, tweet them at me using the
hashtag#BuyNaijaToGrowTheNaira and I will help you promote your
product. I also want to thank Dr. Innocent Chukwuma, the founderand
Chief Executive of Innoson Motors for personally coming to Abuja to
deliver my personal Innoson car which I now drive about in Abuja. I
advised Dr. Chukwuma tomake a bullet proof version so our high profile
politicians will not have to buy imported bullet proof luxury car and
he said to me 'Distinguished Senator, just give me three months'.

My name is Ben Murray-Bruce and I just want to say #BuyNaijaToGrowTheNaira!




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Benue Blog Portal: Buy Naija To Grow The Naira By Sen. Ben Bruce
Buy Naija To Grow The Naira By Sen. Ben Bruce
Benue Blog Portal
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