A designer of children’s footwear and the Chief Executive Officer of Cheery Little Soles, Mrs. Onose Ekelemo, has listed energy challenge as the major reason why she is not producing her designs in Nigeria.
Ekelemo said this during the inauguration of her new store in Lagos, adding “We have not started manufacturing in Nigeria because of the cost of production, chief among which is power challenge.”
According to her, after calculating the cost of freight and Customs duty, it was still cheaper to manufacture outside the country and ship the products to Nigeria.
“Government should help us with power. It is as simple as that. We need constant electricity because people have to work in the factory round the clock,” she said.
Power had always been a major setback to the manufacturing process in the country, the President of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Dr. Frank Jacobs, said, lamenting that manufacturers spent as much as N6bn monthly on self-generated power.
In addition to power, Ekelemo who said her kiddies’ footwear already adorned major stores around the country and beyond, listed expertise and multiple taxations as other factors militating against local production of her designs.
She said however that the firm would soon embark on phased production in Nigeria where some aspects of the production process could start abroad and be completed in Nigeria.
“The challenge with producing in Nigeria is that one may get the first 10 or 20 pieces right and after that, others may have flaws. We intend to correct that by the time we have a bigger factory. I am going to bring in about three or four expatriates for the local people to understudy.”
The entrepreneur also lamented that there were too many taxes which were eating into the business profit.
“You have various taxes and by the time you sum everything up, you are looking at spending 35 percent to 37 percent of the cost of the goods on taxes,” Ekelemo said.