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1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
In the global world where Nigeria is a great player, caution is always observed in consumables, especially food intakes. This is most keen in advanced countries than in the less advanced, where Nigeria belongs. In the former, the people are more aware, discernable and
educated than the palpable ignorance and illiteracy in most of the less advanced countries. Due to this ignorance; wedded to the obdurate desire of some manufacturers (many non-descript) for extreme and criminal profit, sub-standard products, packaged foods inclusive, are produced, relying on the force of the selling concept to market these products to the unsuspecting consumers.
This research would not have been an issue; if not for the fierce competition posed by close substitutes offered by foreign investors, and made possible by globalisation. With the alarming rate of technological advancement in Europe, Asia and America where most of the competing goods come from, and which makes it possible for the cost of per unit of product to be cheaper when juxtaposed with most of our obsolete productive capacity, imported packaged food products are competing favourably with locally manufactured substitutes.
In fact, the success of any product or service in the market place depends so much on its degree of acceptance by consumers or customers. The issue of product acceptability is very apt for what it means. With acceptability, an organization’s product receives repeat sales. With repeat sales; profits are made, ploughed back and which facilitates growth/expansion and possible diversification. With this, organizational mission, goals and objectives are realized.
That is the reason the effective use of the marketing mix and the marketing management philosophies have remained the focal point of firms that wish to compete favourably in the ever competitive business environment. But most firms in Nigeria that engage in packaged food products have not really adopted these ideal practices. Through observation and findings, it has been realized that imported competing packaged food products are usually preferred when juxtaposed with those manufactured locally. The latter is mainly taken as a substitute on the occasion the former is unavailable.
A good instance of the above assertion was the plea made in 1994 by the then chairman of Anambra/Enugu branch of MAN for consumers to patronize food products by indigenous manufactures (MAN, 7th Annual General Meeting). Today, MAN has launched a media campaign on patronage of made-in-Nigeria products. The Federal Government equally has a follow up campaign (www.manufacturersnigeria).
The above is credence to the view that most firms in the packaged food industry in Nigeria have not really taken the inestimable advantage offered by the big market that Nigeria is. According to the Federal Government Official Gazette on Nigeria’s 2006 population census and 2006 National Population and Housing Census Provisional Results as provided by the Census Department; National Population Commission
(NPC), Enugu, Nigeria population was given at 140,003,544m. The land size was given at 936,930 square kilometer.
By the virtue of this land and population size, the country even before now has maintained her status as the largest black nation in the world. Hence, she remains a veritable market for manufacturers of packaged food and other inedible. This massive size of her population signifies that she remains a latent market for possible investment by local manufacturers, and foreign investors that wish to engage in the whole palpable risk that is unavoidable in international business environment.
Although the binoculars is focused on the acceptance by consumers, of packaged food products by local manufacturers, it would be convenient to state that the success recorded by investors in other sectors of the economy is a sign-post to the import of population size to successful investment by manufacturers.
Putting all these into consideration, Nigeria’s teaming population has one of the most considered qualities and ingredients needed and necessary for successful investment by manufacturers of packaged food. By implication also, indigenous manufacturers of packaged food in Nigeria have the advantage of being on ground to gain better percentage of the market / consumers loyalty since they are closer to them (consumers) than foreign counter-parts.
Still, despite the fact that foreign investors in packaged food products into Nigerian market come through the few available entry strategies and which of course takes a lot of time for negotiation, why have our indigenous manufacturers not taken the invaluable advantage of their natural presence in the Nigerian market despite the wide gap between them and foreign competitors? The quest for this knowledge is the reason for this inquiry by the researcher on consumers of packaged food products in Enugu metropolis comprising Enugu North, East and South.
This study equally intends to ascertain the verifiability of the belief that despite this inestimable advantage of being on ground, that packaged food products by foreign manufacturer are preferred and accepted above that offered by indigenous manufacturers due to some factors that would be looked into.
The extent to which this ignominy and other factors have affected the acceptance or rejection of packaged food by indigenous manufacturers when juxtaposed with that of foreign manufacturers in Enugu metropolis with the affordable sample size would be unmasked in this research.
To ensure the safety of packaged food consumption and to alleviate or possibly obliterate the sharp foibles of some manufacturers, government establishes agencies or parastatals that regulate the
activities of the former (manufacturer). This shows the incalculable importance being attached to food consumption, which in itself is very ideal because any negligence could lead to the consumption of sub-standard, fake and poisonous food that could cause lots of hazards to our health.
In Nigeria, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) decree came up in 1974. In 1993, another decree changed the name to the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC). It made provisions for the regulation of the manufacture, sale and advertisement of Foods, Drugs, Cosmetics and medical devices, and repealed the then existing state laws on those matters.
Below are some of the enabling laws enacted by the government to ensure consumer protection in her territory:
1. NAFDAC Decree No. 15 of 1993 Act N1 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 (law establishing NAFDAC);
2. The Food and Drugs Act Cap F32 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004;
3. The Food and Drugs Related Products (Registration ) Act Cap F33 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004, which states essentially that all processed food, water and other regulated products in circulation in Nigeria must be registered by NAFDAC;
4. Marketing Breast Milk Substitutes Act M5 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004, which controls and regulates the marketing of infant formula and other breast milk substitutes;
5. The Counterfeit and Fake Drugs and Unwholesome Processed Food (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act Cap C34 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004, which stipulates
among others that unwholesome food cannot be imported, manufactured, sold or distributed.
Other regulations made pursuant to the provisions of NAFDAC Act Cap F33 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 for the control of labeling processed foods and packaged water and their advertisement include:
1. Pre-packaged Food (Labeling) Regulations 2004;
2. Packaged Water (Labeling) Regulations 2004;
3. Packaged Water (Advertisement) Regulations 2004;
4. Food Products Advertisement Regulations 2004.
(Source: NAFDAC Consumer Safety Bulletin, August
2007, Volume 6 No 1 titled Consumer Awareness And
Responsibilities, NAFDAC Secretariat, Enugu).
In particular, the law establishing NAFDAC, among others have
the following provisions:
It prohibited the sale of any article of food which has poisonous or harmful substances.
a) It prohibited the sale of food or any drug which is adulterated.
b) It prohibits the sale of any article of food or any drug or cosmetic which was manufactured, prepared, preserved or packaged, or stored under unsanitary conditions.
c) It prohibits the sale of any devices/food which may cause injury to the user when used according to directions.
d) It prohibits labeling, treating, packaging, processing, selling or advertising of any food, drug, cosmetic or medical device in a falseful or misleading manner.
e) It provides that any standard that have been prescribed for any
food, drug, and cosmetic must be adhered to.
In 1993, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), published the following guidelines for the registration of Food, Cosmetic, medical devices and bottled water in Nigerian under decree number fifteen. These guidelines are for the interest of the consumers, the general public and in particular, food, cosmetic, medical devices and bottled water manufacturers, food marketers or importers in Nigeria.
It is necessary to emphasis here that no food, cosmetics, medical devices or bottled water (regulated products), shall be manufactured,
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