The Made-In-Nigeria Phone
No doubt that the market for mobile devices and IT equipment is huge in Nigeria because these telephone lines are functional only through the availability of mobile devices or various IT equipments or the other.
The demand for such product will continue till time no one can explain because it has been discovered that Nigerians have strong desired for technology and subscribers do change their devices from time to time either to new products, brands or replace their damaged phones hereby creating big market demand for IT devices.
Perhaps, this makes Nigeria attractive to investments in this regards as both local and foreign investors have now realised this potentials with yearnings to set up manufacturing plans that will not only produced made in Nigeria IT products but also generates employment through the sector.
On several occasion, foreign IT devices manufacturers such as Nokia, Samsung, Apple, Blackberry, Tecno among others in the category of mobile phones and tablets; and companies such as HP, Acer, Dell and others had mulled setting up assembly/production plants in Nigeria but none of them has been done son up till now.
However, a Ghana-based devices manufacturer, RLG Communications two weeks ago officially commissioned the first phone and laptop manufacturing plant in Nigeria, a development that has huge economic benefits for Nigeria.
Of concern to the Federal Government is how the economic imperatives of foreign IT manufacturers that do businesses in Nigeria to set up assembly plants in the country would be addressed.
The Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs, Omobola Johnson had confirmed that the RLG victory would “create a lot of value for the economy.” The minister had hinted that another company called MiFonea, which is based in Mauritius with operations in 14 other African countries, is at an advanced stage of entry into this market with a plan to setup a $30 million facility to assemble feature phones and smart phones.
This is why stakeholders in the country have continued to commend the decision by Ghana-based RLG Communications, to set up an assembly plant in Nigeria where it would be producing both mobile phones and laptops.
The $50million RLG plant is a joint venture between the Ghana based company and Osun State.
Stakeholders have said the factory, which is located in Ilesa in Osun State and named “Adulawo Technology City,” would bring great fortune not only to the people of the state but the whole country.
RLG’s Country Director, Mr. Tosin Illesanmi during a facility tour of the plant, said beyond setting up a factory to manufacture devices, would bring many economic opportunities for Nigeria in the area of technology transfer, employment generation, bio-gas technology, among others.
According to him, the factory has capacity to produce 5, 000 mobile phones and 2, 500 laptops per day and it is fortified with other facilities such as training centre, research and development, R&D, laboratory and corporate building and bio-gas technology.
He said, “We would not have come to Nigeria to do business without skilled and well trained people to work with. But since we have trained many people in Osun, we felt we are good to come to Nigeria to do business and the quality of the training we gave them will transform into the quality of product that RLG would be producing.”
During the facility tour, it was discovered that the factory has employed over 100 young Nigerians at its two production lines- one for mobile devices and the other for laptops.
Illasanmi disclosed that RLG, which currently has five regional distributors for its products in Port Harcourt, Lagos, Benin, Abuja and Kano with a Service Centre in Osogbo is ambitious to roll out ‘Enterprise Kiosks’, which will be given to those that RLG had trained who will be able to do repairs of RLG devices and other brand of devices, as well as having stock of RLG products.
He said, “Due to the power situation in the country, we have designed the kiosks with solar technology and we have first of 1,000 of such to be delivered. The value the kiosks will give to the beneficiary is worth N800, 000. In the kiosk, they will do repair and also sell RLG products. There is therefore a repayment scheme that will be facilitated by a microfinance institution. To us, this is empowerment for Nigerians.”