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1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
All business aim at the consumers. The consumers’ attitude and belief towards the product determines its success or failure. 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 consumers 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 favorable attitude of consumers to Nigeria made products. Since then, many more made-in-Nigeria goods trade fairs have been staged at and the state levels.
Nigeria is facing economic recession, noticed early eighties caused mainly by the famous oil glut. These pangs of recession have been felt in all economic activities internal and external (Financial punch, 1983:32).
Recently governments have introduced stringent economic measures aimed at ameliorating economic imbalance. These include the Economic Stabilization Act 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 1983 Act.
These policies seek to boost local production and to make Nigeria as economically self reliant as possible. The success of any business organization lies on its ability to provide a product or service that meets consumer’s satisfaction.
If the list of firms registered in Nigeria some ten years ago is investigated today, it will be seen that many have fickle away, while some 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 consumers’ 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. Consumers 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. Consumers are rational beings and want to get the best out of the least spending. They want the best value for their money. Consumers buying behavior 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 consumers 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.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEMS
The problem of this research work is to identify the type of non-acceptance and snobbism that exists for the footwear products in Owerri metropolis.
It is a common thing to hear people say that a product is “locally made”, “made in Aba and fabricated in Onitsha”. This has
made local manufacturers to adopt foreign logo as names for their locally made goods. There is indeed some distain and inferiority complex for made-in-Nigeria goods.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
a) To find out the factors responsible for consumers attitude of snobbism and non-acceptance.
b) To identify how consumers in Owerri feel about made-in-Nigeria footwear.
c) To trace the attitude of made in Nigeria footwear to income distribution.
d) To ascertain if the made-in-Nigeria footwear products are easily available to consumers.
1.4 RELEVANT RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The following research questions would be the focus of this project.
1. Are made-in-Nigeria footwear products qualities of low standard to the foreign imported ones?
2. Can the price of made-in-Nigeria footwear products compare favorably with imported ones?
3. Are made-in-Nigeria footwear products easily available to consumers?
1.5 FORMULATION OF HYPOTHESES
According to Onwe O.J. (1988:24), hypothesis is an intelligent guess about the state of the universe under study. The following hypotheses were formulated for this study:
Ho: Consumers will prefer made-in-Nigeria footwear products to foreign made ones even if quality is improved.
Ho: Consumers will patronize made-in-Nigeria footwear products even if prices are low.
Ho: Advertising and sales promotion will increase awareness and patronage of made-in-Nigeria footwear products.
Ho: Govt. ban on importation of foreign footwear products with make consumers to bring locally made footwear.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study deals with attitude of consumers to made-in-Nigeria footwear. The study is based on consumers of footwear in Owerri metropolis. It is therefore neither a national nor a regional study. This means that the finding will be interpreted only within the context of consumers in metropolitan city of Owerri.
1.7 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
This study was hindered by both time finance and dearth of literature.
1.8 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study will find solution to why consumers in the Owerri metropolis snob made-in-Nigeria footwear products. It will help the manufacturers in the footwear industry to be quality conscious in their production process.
This study will be able to encourage government to create a conducive environment for businesses to achieve their corporate goals of producing products to satisfy the consumers’ expectations by removing barriers to access to high quality raw materials. It will also remove the negative attitude to home made footwear products by consumers if manufacturers take cognizance of the following factors such as: quality of the products, the price and availability of the products and the awareness of the products to enable consumers patronize them.
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
The use of certain words or terms can create some ambiguity in the minds of readers. To avoid this affair, there is need for clarification. The following words will carry the meanings given to them in this study:
CONSUMER: One who buys a product for personal use or for members of his household.
PRODUCT: A set of tangible or intangible attributes that can be used to satisfy a need or want.
STRATEGY: A master plan that delineates critical courses of action towards the attainment of company objectives and a blue print that defines the means of deploying resources to exploit present and future opportunities and counteract future threats.
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