Wednesday, 30 December, 2015
Lagos — Nigeria's economy is currently losing an estimated N34billion monthly to wanton importation of mobile phones into the country, the Daily Trust has gathered.
The losses, which accrue to the country in form of capital flight has set in due to lack of deliberate policy by government to encourage local phone assemblage.
With over 170 million population, the country has been identified by major phone manufacturers including Samsung, Blackberry, Microsoft-Nokia, Tecno among others from Europe, Middle-East, Asia, China and other developed countries.
While most of the manufacturers have regional offices for West African operation in Nigeria, none has an assembly plant here for their Completely Knocked Down (CKD) mobile devices.
Averages of four million mobile phones are imported into the Nigerian market on a monthly basis, data obtained from the Federal Ministry of Communications said.
With the average cost of a new standard mobile phone in Nigeria estimated at $43 (about N8,514) in a report by Oxford Business Group, the country is losing a conservatively estimated N34billion to capital flight. Despite the Local Content Policy for the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector two years ago, the 'unregulated' importation of mobile devices into the country without any local input remains a worrisome trend.
Experts have decried the lack of thorough implementation of the policy.
The Managing Director, Omatek Ventures, Mrs Florence Seriki urged the federal government to adopt the road map of the former president Olusegun Obasanjo who created Public Private Patnership (PPP) in the ICT sector which grows indigenous IT firms.
Industry analyst, Mr. Akin Akinbo, said: "I think that the number of phone importation into Nigeria is huge and it is enough to warrant the locating of assembly plants in the country by these phone manufacturers."
The President, National Association of Telecoms Subscribers (NATCOMS), Deolu Ogunbanjo in a phone interview said Nigeria needs a deliberate policy to encourage CKD products, adding that "Not everything should be allowed to be imported into the country in a normal system."