Forex crisis hampers Nigeria-made phones, says Maina
The Broadband Implementation Steering Committee Project Manager Abubakar Maina revealed that the currency crunch in Nigeria is discouraging OEMs from establishing their businesses in the country for phones manufactured in Nigeria. Nigeria.
He noted this during a presentation on the status of implementation of the Nigerian National Broadband Plan 2020-2025 at the National Digital Economy Council in Abuja on Tuesday.
Maina said: “There are ongoing commitments on this device cost target, and the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, in conjunction with NCC and ITF, is working on a framework with the OEMs to really reduce the cost. But the main problem is forex. This is the main challenge that OEMs complain about.
In the NNBP 2020-2025, the Federal Government is targeting at least one locally assembled smart device by 2023 with a target price of N18,000 and three locally assembled smart devices by 2025 with a target price of N9,000 each.
However, it looks like the forex crisis in Nigeria could hamper the federal government’s focus in ongoing negotiations with OEMs.
On June 10, 2021, reports reported of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (Ret’d) receiving the first Nigerian-made phone, known as the ITF mobile.
Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo, while presenting the phones to the president, tagged him as the first out of the country.
Adebayo explained that the phone was one of 12 produced using locally sourced components by the Electrical/Electronic Technologies Department of the Industrial Training Fund’s Model Skills Training Centre.
However, a former president of the Telecommunications Companies Association of Nigeria and national coordinator of the Alliance for Affordable Internet, Olusola Teniola, verified that there was no trace of a phone made in Nigeria, adding that what was available were phones that were assembled in Nigeria.
Earlier this year, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment pointed out that although many manufacturing companies were struggling with a shortage of foreign currency, the federal government was doing everything to help them access forex, by particular for the importation of machinery for those who use local currencies. raw materials for their production.
However, a recent survey by PUNCH revealed that more than 50 Nigerian manufacturing companies have shut down in the past five years due to forex and electricity crises.
Some of the manufacturing companies that have left the industry in the past five years include Surest Foam Limited, Mufex, Framan Industries, MZM Continental, Nipol Industries, Moak Industries, Stone Industries, Solo Industries, Quick Born Industries, Supercor Industries, Arabi Industries, and Rola Industries.
The President of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Edo/Delta Branch, Okwara Udensi, told the association’s 36th Annual General Meeting on Thursday that the shortage of foreign currency, poor electricity supply, high interest on loans, multiple taxes and levies as some of the challenges facing the sector.