Ben Murray Bruce
Nigeria’s solution-driven initiative, “Buy Naija to Grow the Naira” comes in face of our nation’s ailing economy and plummeting global oil prices. CNN World announced that “crude prices have fallen by 75 percent, and Nigeria, Africa’s biggest oil producer, is now losing money by pumping it.” So shaky are the economic grounds, upon which the nation stands, that the government might be compelled to borrow money to keep public services operational and standing. Even worse, the naira’s devaluation limits the purchasing power of foreign imported goods at an affordable price.

Yet, this rude awakening seems to be an opportune moment for Nigeria to reinvent herself from being a consumerist society to a producing state. As Sun Tzu, an ancient Chinese military general and strategist stated, “In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity.”

Undoubtedly, in our intense capitalistic and competitive global society, leaders will always emerge during moments of chaos and havoc to steer communities, nations, public and private institutions to wealth and opportunity by not only rhetoric but example.

Senator Murray-Bruce has risen to the occasion by continuing to use his political stance to repetitively articulate: “Buy Naija to Grow the Naira!” Although this seems to be a cultural phenomenon slowly developing in our nation’s conscience, with the hashtag #BuyNaijaToGrowTheNaira to be found on most Nigerian social media outlets, he seems to be one of the few politicians “walking the talk and talking the walk.”

Thus far, this passionate statesman announced on Facebook that, “As I promised, Dr. Innoson Chukwuma has delivered my Innoson cars which I will now use as my official car. I ordered two of his vehicles: a SUV and Sedan. I paid for it with my personal funds, not government money. The cars are lovely. Go and get yours today.”

Innoson Motors is an automobile manufacturing plant situated in Nnewi, Anambra State. This auto manufacturing plant produces and makes its vehicles in Nigeria.

Senator Murray-Bruce seems to comprehend more than most the economic consequences of building and buying from Nigeria’s domestic market economy. For this reason, he not only purchased Nigerian made vehicles but invited the public to follow his example.

Although this may be an area of discussion rarely entertained due to the effects of cultural imperialism, which has made a lot of Nigerians thirsty for foreign commodities, it remains the only road to collective economic liberation and social progress.

Moreover, let’s revise some key benefits in purchasing Nigerian made goods and services:

1. Keeps the general public employed;

2. Helps the economy grow by circulating the naira within;

3. Strengthens the manufacturing sector to meet the nation’s present and forthcoming needs;

4. Ensures current and future generations stay out of debt by creating wealth through being a producing country instead of a consumerist nation;

5. Reduces crime by creating an outlet for creative minds to utilise their talents in establishing businesses to meet the needs of society;

6. Ensures financial independence from foreigners by establishing and sustaining a manufacturing base;

7. It balances the nation’s trade deficit, which will boost job creation in various sectors (agricultural, manufacturing, mining, construction, etc.);

8. Creates jobs for a middle class that will encourage national development.

The old adage “love starts at home” seems to be the answer to Nigeria’s current economic woes. Equally, finding love and enjoyment in consuming Nigerian goods produced by local businesses will lay the foundation for not only financial prosperity but social stability. Senator Murray-Bruce’s visionary and exemplary leadership has blazed the path for all Nigerians to follow. Our consumer choices will dictate our economic fate.

Adewale Tokunbo Sogunro, a Nigerian political and business enthusiast, works as an analyst in the government sector and is a part-time writer.