SON DG, Joseph Odumodu
Concerned experts in the information and communications technology (ICT) industry have raised the alarm over what they described as impending danger on the over-dependence on foreign brand of computers among Nigerians.
First Nigerian Scientist and Provost of the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), Dr. Isaac Odeyemi, who spoke during a factory tour of Omatek Computers by the Minister of Trades and Investment, Olusegun Aganga in Lagos on Monday, warned that unless Nigerians and Nigerian governments begin to invest in locally produced computers, the computer manufacturing industry in the country would face extinction in the near future.
“Foreign brands of computers have flooded the Nigerian ICT market at the detriment of locally manufactured computers like Omatek, Zinox, Brian, SpeedStar, among others, and the penetration has extended to offices, even in government offices, where there is a show of display of foreign brand of computers,” Odeyemi said.
He accused Nigerians of being perpetual consumers of foreign brands of computers to the detriment of locally assembled computers that had the same standards as that of the foreign brands. He called on Nigerians to be part of ICT development, through conscious patronage of local brands
Chairman of Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), Mr. Sunny Nwosu, who blamed government for the influx of foreign brand of computers in the Nigerian market, said: “Government has policies that can develop indigenous manufacturing industry, but such policies are crumbling by the day because they lack implementation.” He said without committed support from government, local manufacturing industry would not survive doing business in Nigeria.
President of Teledom Group of companies, Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem was also of the view that government must make concerted efforts to support the manufacturing industry.”
According to him, “government should create a level-playing ground for local brands to survive competition in the market and avoid a situation where government agencies and corporate organisations in Nigeria will be making demand on specific brands of computers that they want to purchase.”
Giving detailed explanation on Omatek’s innovations in the area of ICT, Chief Executive Officer of Omatek Ventures, Mrs. Florence Seriki, said the newly-launched solar panel, which serves as an alternative to electricity supply, was capable of reducing electricity consumption by 85 per cent.
According to her, “The 24-hour power solution has dropped 60 watts electric bulb to 7 watts, and still produce great lighting effect with reduced power consumption.”
Apart from the 24-hour power solution, Seriki explained that the state-of-the-art- factory had four different factories with four different lines of production, that are embedded in a single factor, known as the Omatek factory. One of the factories, she said, “produces computer speakers of various shapes, and has the capacity of mass-producing 1,000 speakers in one day.”
Reiterating the need for government partnership with Omatek, Aganga said: “The level of manufacturing, the creativity and innovation put into the Omatek business, excited me and gave me the confidence that Nigerian made products will go places, if given the right support.”
He said he would use the mandates of his ministry to drive diversification in industrial development, beginning with industrial revolution in the ICT industry.