The growing dissatisfaction with the quality of made-in-Nigeria goods by consumers calls for the intervention of the Manufacturers’ Association of Nigeria (MAN) and the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON). One clear and present evidence of such poor quality of products can be seen in the numerous taps that cannot hold water.
Those who care to know and see can easily find water wasting as a result of poor quality water taps that show the quality of such product less than four weeks after installation. Anyone can go out and confirm the truth.
Before coming up with this article, one had undertaken a pains-taking and bias-free research on the performance of made-in-Nigeria water taps installed in various communities in the effort to give pipe-borne water to the masses. There was no single village or street that one did not find such taps. Even if such malfunctions can be attributed to careless handling of the taps by users, the truth remains that the wide prevalence of the occurrences arise from poor quality rather than poor handling. We rarely take pains in what we do!
There is a particular brand of water taps that becomes defective less than a few weeks after installation. It sells for about N1,000 apiece, with a provision to lock the tap with a padlock after use. But despite such wise provision to avoid water being wasted when not needed, the taps rarely hold water after the first one month. They get rusty too!
Anybody in doubt about what is being said here can please carry out an independent fact-finding sampling of opinions, coupled with critical observations. Without any intent to cast some aspersions on the manufacturers of such substandard water taps shortly after installation, what needs to be done is to ensure that the quality of such products gets improved. The attitude of consumers keeping quiet over poor quality of products cannot be helpful.
From the collapse of buildings, to the manufacturing of taps that cannot hold water, it would be an attitude of defeatism if Nigerians would continue to tolerate what they can change through protest or rejection of sub-standard goods and services. Those who engage in counterfeit or the adulteration of genuine products get emboldened because they believe that Nigerian masses are docile and gullible. Be it baby food or drugs, the habit of getting rich by short-changing consumers, has serious and wide consequences.
Late Professor (Mrs) Dorah Akunyili lamented the attitude of Nigerians placing more value on profit rather than the quality of goods and services made available to consumers. Despite everything being done by various agencies to inculcate ethical and service-oriented values in Nigerians, the trend of short-changing consumers has continued to increase rather than reduce. Why should anybody believe that he can get away with such pranks that put others in jeopardy!
Those who have had the opportunity of visiting various parts of the globe would be impressed by the preservation of legacies left behind by people who placed value on quality products than on immediate personal profits.
From furniture, works of arts, to structural edifices, there are monuments of antiquity which give testimony to the nobility of the souls of those who produced such things. Something cannot be said about poor quality products and services given to the public by greedy, careless and profit-seeking entrepreneurs.
It is truly said that a thing of beauty is a thing of joy, wherein lies the difference between noble minds and what they produce, and ignoble ones. Can we compare water taps installed in some buildings by Taylor Woodrow and Costain Construction Companies between 1950 and 1964, still functioning satisfactorily now, and such made-in-Nigeria taps that cannot hold water after a few weeks? The difference is clear!
The works of men’s hands and ideas conceived by their minds, give eloquent testimonies about the quality of the motivating impetus which gave rise to such works. Those who leave behind monuments of shame in their times and societies would be remembered by posterity by the nature and quality of what they leave behind.
There is more to life than pyrrhic victories and momentary successes, especially when they become monuments of shame. Poor quality products that cannot hold water would hold no value ultimately.
Dr. Amirize is a retired lecturer at the Rivers State University, PH.