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Economic crisis and the coping strategies of indigenous automobile entrepreneurs in northern Nigeria, 1983-2014


The Nigerian economic crisis of the early 1980s and the stabilization policies that were introduced to contain it have triggered inflation in the country leading to deplorable socio-economic conditions. Automobile industry is one of many sectors of the country’s economy that were negatively affected by the economic crisis. In response to the situation the indigenous automobile businessmen began to use new strategies to survive the downtrend in the automobile market. Apart from shifting to Second-hand automobile trade, the businessmen have also introduced new marketing strategies such as kakara(trade in) and Jagwal (trade on) in order to survive the challenges posed by expatriates’ automobile companies mostly from China and Korea. With these strategies, the traders not only maintain their prominence in the automobile market but also open up other areas of economic ventures such as second-hand spare parts market, used vehicle market (Kasuwar tabajiki), waste market (Kasuwar gongoni) among other strategies. The main focus of this paper is to look at the effects of the long term economic recession and the economic stabilization programmes of the 1980s on the automobile market and the response of indigenous automobile traders to devise a variety of coping strategies to overcome the crisis. What these strategies are and their implications on the automobile market and society constitute the subject of the paper.


Nigerian, economic crisis, tokunbo, Kasuwar tabajiki, Kakara, Jagwal, Peugeot saloon