Panasonic, SIMS Set To Boost Nigeria’s Industrial Growth

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As Nigeria’s federal government continues to strategise on ways to boost manufacturing and industrialization following the current crash in oil prices, top global brands have continued to show their readiness and commitment to deepen their presence in Africa's biggest market.
Joining this growing list of quality investors is Japan based electronics giant, Panasonic which is making this commitment in partnership with SIMS, a leading electronics and home appliances marketing/distribution company in Nigeria.

The company is extending the manufacturing  of its high quality products, for which it was known in the past, to the shores of Nigeria. Panasonic has established an assembly plant in Lagos, to complement its manufacturing plant in India. The company is assembling popular products like  Air-conditioners and TV sets in Lagos, with a view to creating more jobs for Nigerian youths.
The partnership with SIMS marks a renewed launch of Panasonic electronics and household appliances into the Nigerian market. In the past three decades, Panasonic had remained a household name in Africa and Nigeria in the areas of Air-conditioning and television as well as other home appliances, although at a time, there was a lull in sales in Nigeria. However, now the company has decided to re-launch its products into the Nigerian market through SIMS.
According to Shinichi Wakita, managing director of Panasonic, Middle East and Africa, the company partnership with SIMS Nigeria is to foster seamless distribution of the products across the country. He also emphasized that the creation of the new manufacturing unit would help contribute to the nation’s economic growth through employment generation for the Nigerian workforce and transfer of technical knowledge to Nigerian workers.  His words: “Nigeria is a fast growing, youthful market and an increasingly urbanising country - as about 60% of its 170 million populations now live in cities. The Nigerian consumer market could be described as one the most brand conscious countries in Africa. The nation shares a unified love for customised products, as well as an aspiration to own and associate with the best quality brands.
“As a contribution towards the society which is based on our basic business philosophy, we are establishing our local manufacturing unit for Air-conditioners and TVs in Lagos. We believe this will make a small contribution towards job creation and the economy of Nigeria. Africa is one of the fastest growing economies with a rising consumer class; setting up this manufacturing base in Nigeria is our strategy to deal with the business challenges in this market. We will be working closely with the Nigerian population with an aim to provide products which are ‘locally-fit’ and in accordance with their demands".
Already, some consumers and electronic dealers in Lagos, have responded positively by commending Panasonic for the decision to establish their assembly plant in the country.
"This is a welcome development. A lot of people have been making demands for Panasonic products but we don't really have it in the market. But now that the company has partnered with SIMS for distribution, we are very happy that we can purchase their products and sell them without stress", said Andew Uwazuruike, an electronic dealer.
An Oyo-based dealer, Dayo Fagade, who was accosted at the market, described the return of Panasonic as a huge relief that will enable him provide his Panasonic loyalist and other customers quality products offered by the company. He revealed that he has always recommended the Japanese products to its customers due to their durability, innovation and quality. He urged SIMS and Panasonic to ensure availability of the products to  markets across the country especially during this New Year period.
“Panasonic is a big brand that needs no further introduction. We just want to appeal to Panasonic and SIM to make the products available all across the country, especially at the beginning of the year where people buy more electronic items”, he said.
Also, a consumer in Ikeja, Suliat Farouk said she has always loved Panasonic products because of their easy-to-know features. She urged the company to further consolidate their presence in the country and also make the product available in the North where, according to her 'there is a big market for electronic products'.

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