Nigeria loses N34bn to phones imports monthly

Nigeria’s economy is currently losing an estimated N34billion monthly to wanton importation of mobile phones into the country, according to reports.

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, Florence Seriki urged the federal government to adopt the roadmap of former President Olusegun Obasanjo who created Public Private Patnership (PPP) in the ICT sector which grows indigenous IT firms.



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