At a time, many Nigerians have concluded that the only way to grow the economy is to patronize locally made products and services. It has been established that the lack of interest for locally made ICT hardware is making the country to lose a whopping $2.8 billion yearly, Minister of Communications, Barr. Adebayo Shittu noted months ago.
The Minister said the amount is spent to import foreign ICT hardware, which he believes can be produced locally by some tech savvy Nigerians.
“Nigeria is ceding about 70 per cent of the country’s technology market to the foreign brands due to apathy for locally made products,” he said during a Stakeholders’ Compliance Workshop on the Procurement of Indigenous ICT products and Service by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in Abuja.
According to him, the value of Nigerian ICT hardware and services industry was estimated at $39.7billion in 2014, and forecasted to grow to 144 billion dollars by 2020, but regrets that all the available statistics show that the likes of Samsung, Acer, HP, Dell, Asus, Toshiba and Lenovo account for 70 per cent of sales in the market, leaving indigenous brands like Zinox, Omatek Computers, Brian integrated systems to account for the remaining 30 per cent.
In this 2017, tell the minister that regret is nonsense. What matters is what he will do in 2017 to actually help the local companies blossom. When government awards all the ICT contracts to foreign brand, what do they have in mind? He needs to understand that opportunities do not just happen – nations use policy to transform sectors.
We are waiting for him in this 2017.