GROUP ADVOCATE BAN ON COMPUTER HARDWARE IMPORTS TO BOOST LOCAL INDUSTRY

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A group of concerned individuals are urging President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to follow India’s example and impose restrictions on the importation of various computer hardware, including laptops, tablets, and servers. This move, they argue, aligns with the concept of product nationalism, supporting domestic products to enhance local productivity, generate jobs, and discourage capital outflow.

Statistics from the International Trade Centre indicate that Nigeria spent $1.09 billion on software and computer services imports between 2016 and 2020. Over this period, the amounts varied, with a peak of $336.43 million in 2020. Nigerian technocrats and ICT professionals recommend adopting India’s strategy to bolster struggling domestic companies producing similar products.

Chris Uwaje, a Fellow of Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) and former President of the Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON), suggested that foreign computer manufacturers should establish local production facilities in partnership with indigenous companies. Uwaje also proposed incentivizing such partnerships with pioneer status incentives for five to seven years.

Dotun Ali-Balogun, another ICT mogul, recommended mandating government ICT operations to use locally assembled computers. He is supported by Michael Ikeogwu and Ayodele Ogundele, who highlighted the importance of adopting a Buy-Nigeria policy in ICT to discourage capital flight and boost local productivity.

Ali-Balogun emphasized that Nigeria should adopt a policy banning the importation of computer hardware; particularly items already assembled domestically. He believes this would enhance local production, efficiency, job creation, and various roles in the value chain.

Although several Nigerian computer hardware assembling companies exist, some are struggling to meet local demand. Brands like RLG, Beta, Data House Technologies, Zinox, and Acti-Tech Limited are listed as local computer and allied product makers. Notably, Zinox, Nigeria’s first globally-certified computer brand since 2001, stands out for its successful execution of significant ICT projects.

 

 

 

 

 

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