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1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Nigeria is facing economic recession which became noticeable in the early eighties. This is aggravated by the global economic recession caused by the famous oil glut. The pangs of the recession have continued to be felt in all economic activities internal and external. Its dimension has reached a zenith resistant to some of the known antidotes for an economy under stress (Financial Punch, 1983: 32). Since the beginning of this period, Successive governments have introduced stringent economic measures aimed at ameliorating economic imbalance. These include the Economic Stabilisation Act of 1982, which empowered the president to apply harsh economic policies to control foreign exchange transactions. The Structural Adjustment Programme (S.A.P) and others were built on the 1982 Act. These policies seek to boost local production of goods and services and to make Nigeria as economically self reliant as possible. They have nevertheless, produced some unpleasant consequences to business activities in the country.
Meeting the needs of society through appropriate products or service is the basic function of business organizations. Business organizations are distinguished by their objective of realizing profit or a return on investment. Profits serve many functions such as pay dividends to shareholders and serve as source of funds for further investment or expansion of business and for supporting innovative activities such as research and development (Kotler, 1990: 246). The success of a business organization is contingent upon its ability to provide a product or service that meets purchasers’ satisfaction. Failure to understand the needs and wants of different purchasers groups would result in failure to provide the desired satisfaction and on the long-term, collapse of the company due to non-patronage (Onah, 2004:9).
Achieving organizational goals depends on determining the needs and wants of target markets and delivering the desired satisfactions more effectively and efficiently than competitors do (Kotler, 2001:18).
If the list of firms registered in Nigeria some ten years ago is investigated today, it will be seen that many have fickled away. Some have survived but very much at the level they were founded while others have grown and prospered to a height not imagined by their founders.
A company meets its basic responsibility to the society through the medium of its product or service. The purchasers’ wants and satisfaction are the economic and social justification for a firm’s existence. Unless a firm accomplishes this, it will cease to exist because the competitive environment will force it out. Purchasers have needs and wants which they desire to satisfy through the products they buy. The extent to which they will accept a product is dependent on the satisfaction they derive from the consumption of the product. Purchasers are rational beings and want to get the best out of the least spending. They want the best value for their money. Purchasers buying behaviour is influenced by social, psychology and a host of other environmental dynamics (Kotler, 1990: 159).
However, some basic factors exist which exert considerable influence on purchasers buying decision. These factors include: the products quality, price and availability. It is generally believed that most Nigerians prefer foreign made products to locally manufactured goods. They are willing to produce them at any price. This attitude is a source of concern to both the economic planners and local manufacturers. This is because inadequate demand for home made products has adverse consequences on the pace of the country industrialization efforts and the Gross National Product (GNP). Smuggling of foreign made goods has grown and is now developing to high
dimensions. This is a big problem of obtaining inputs for their manufacturing processes. Although, government economic regulations aim at protecting and boosting local production, they have nevertheless, failed to achieve this because local sourcing of inputs is not easy. Many industries cannot easily obtain their raw materials for productions. Consequently, most firms find it difficult to sustain a profitable sales volume. The result is increased unemployment, as firms continue on rationalization in order to remain afloat (Catelogue of Nigeria Purchaser & Industrial Good Trade Fair, 1980: 76). All business aim at the purchasers. The purchasers’ attitude towards the product determines its success or failure. As stated earlier, it is widely acknowledged that most Nigerians prefer foreign made products. This has a very serious implication on the economy. However, a lot is being done in recent years to arouse the interest of Nigerian purchasers in locally produced goods and services. In November, 1981, the first Made-in-Nigeria Goods Trade Fair was organized by the Federal Ministry of Commerce. In 1983, the Financial Punch, launched campaign tagged “Think Nigeria as you buy”. The aim is to seek favourable attitude of purchasers to Nigeria made products. Since then, many more made-in-Nigeria goods trade fairs have been staged at Federal and the State levels.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEMS
It is a common event to hear Nigerians say that a product is “locally made”, “made in Aba and fabricated in Onitsha”. This has even pushed local manufacturers to adopt foreign logo and names for their locally made goods. There is indeed some disdain and inferiority complex for made-in-Nigeria goods. The problem of this research include, the type of snobbism and non-acceptance that exists for the footwear products in Asaba Metropolis, why local manufacturers’ adopt foreign logo and names for the locally made goods, some disdain and inferiority complex for made in Nigeria goods, the
cognitive dissonance that purchasers’ exhibit after purchases has been made, and finally there is no brand loyalty among purchasers of foot wear in Asaba metropolis.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
This study aims at the following objectives:
1. To identify how purchasers in Asaba feel about made-in-Nigeria footwear.
2. To find out whether they have a feeling of snobbism or acceptance.
3. To find out the factors responsible for purchasers attitude of snobbism and non-acceptance.
4. To trace the attitude of made-in-Nigeria footwear to income distribution.
5. To find out the post purchase behaviour of purchasers of made in Nigeria foot wear in Asaba metropolis.
6. To find out whether there is brand loyalty among purchasers of made-in-Nigeria foot wear in Asaba metropolis.
7. To find out purchasers perception on quality about made in Nigeria foot wear in Asaba metropolis
1.4 RELEVANT RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The following research questions would be the focus of this project:
1. Are made-in-Nigeria footwear products quality of low standard to the foreign imported ones?
2. Can the price of made-in-Nigeria footwear products compare favourably with imported ones?
3. Are made-in-Nigeria footwear products easily available to purchasers?
4. Do you think made in Nigeria products are well advertised?
5. If advertising and sales promotion increased would it increase purchasers awareness and patronage of made in Nigeria foot wear products?
1.5 FORMULATION OF HYPOTHESES
The following hypotheses were formulated for this study:
1. Purchasers will not prefer made-in-Nigeria footwear products to foreign made ones even if quality is improved.
2. Purchasers will not patronize made-in-Nigeria footwear products even if prices are low.
3. Advertising and sales promotion will not increase awareness and patronage of made-in-Nigeria footwear products.
4. Prices of made in Nigeria foot wear products are unnecessarily high and there is no improvement on the quality.
5. Purchasers will not prefer foreign made products because they are of high quality in design and finishing.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study was carried out in Asaba metropolis with the dealers, workers and students as respondents.
The study will focus on an evaluation of purchasers attitude towards made in Nigeria foot wear product available in Asaba metropolis.
This study deals with attitude of purchasers to made-in-Nigeria footwear. The study is based on purchasers of footwear in Asaba metropolis. It is therefore neither a national nor a regional study. This means that the findings
will be interpreted only within the context of purchasers in metropolitan city of Asaba.
1.7 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
In carrying out a research work like this, the research is bound to encounter some problems. The research is aware that better results could be achieved from visiting all the dealers, workers and students in Asaba metropolis one by one but could not do so on the grounds of financial constraints occasioned by the nation’s present economic conditions.
A further constraints to the research study was the fact that the research could not lay hands on much secondary information because the topic of study is one where little or no work has been done before.
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