Chairman, Board of CFAO NIPEN, manufacturers and distributors of BIC products, Mr. Steve Faderin, says stiff competition from manufacturers of cheap and substandard products has created pricing gap for genuine manufacturers in the country.
Faderin, who spoke at the company’s 41st Annual General Meeting in Lagos, said the Federal Government should come to the aid of the manufacturing sector to avoid a total collapse of the economy.
He said, “The weakening of naira, scarcity of foreign currency, drastic fall of over 70 per cent in oil prices have badly impacted the business environment. Additionally, stiff competition from cheaper, substandard competitors has created a pricing gap for NIPEN’s products.
“But in spite of this scenario, the premium ball pen and crates categories maintained about the same sales volume as the previous year. In the razor category, whilst we sustained our market leadership position, the overall market contracted due to the decline in disposable incomes and the unrelenting assault by counterfeiters.”
Faderin said NIPEN would continue to apply its Kaizen programme of quality enhancement of its products and maintain adjustments of operational tactics to reduce exposure to foreign exchange fluctuations.
According to him, the company will also look for further optimisation of operating expenses, preserving the capacity to produce and distribute and be in good position for expansion as soon as the economy stabilises.