The lack of key infrastructure is hurting our economy in so many ways. What would the economy have been like if most of the hardware products used in the country were either manufactured or assembled here?
I have often times reflected on what the Nigerian computer hardware market currently looks like. My conviction is that this segment of the ecosystem still has a lot of potential yet to be tapped.
“The computer hardware market in Nigeria is full of potential,” is a phrase we hear all the time without taking any step to tap the potential. What could be responsible for this?
On the last count, only about seven Original Equipment Manufacturers in Nigeria meet up to 20 per cent of local demand for computer hardware. Now, the question is, what is the overall demand for computer hardware and why is it that only about 20 per cent of the demands are met?
This situation, at some point, prompted the Director General of National Information Technology Development Agency, Dr. Ali Ibrahim, to seek for foreign potential investors, assuring them that the agency would not hesitate to facilitate the establishment of World Class Original Design Manufacturing factories in Nigeria, at least to guarantee local assembling of hardware devices.
Many of the OEM’s that sell their products locally are often asked the question as to whether their company have any plans of setting up a manufacturing plant here in Nigeria.
Of course, they always tell us yes, but ironically, we are yet to see the likes of Samsung, HP or, even, smartphone makers, like Tecno or Infinix, set up manufacturing plants here in Nigeria.
I am not disputing the inherent challenges that exist in the Nigeria manufacturing space but if the likes of Innoson Motors could have a set up that seems to be working, some computer hardware manufacturers, who see Nigeria as one of their big markets, especially, on the African continent, could do the same.
As a palliative, I think the government can give such companies some incentives to encourage them to make this happen.
Setting up their manufacturing or in the first instance, assembly plants here in Nigeria, will also reduce the unemployment statistics in the country as these plants will need skilled labour to function properly. This is aside the technology transfer that will naturally take place.
One of the challenges envisaged here is consumer education. This is an issue for the OEMs because there are some computer products that exist in the market today which many — Finish Reading on the Punch