Nigeria stands at the cusp of a tech revolution. Can it take a leaf from India’s playbook and ride the wave of local innovation, driven by giants like Zinox?
Embracing Product Nationalism
The core principle driving such moves is ‘product nationalism’.
Under this banner, nations like India are placing their trust in locally produced goods.
The reasons? To:
Enhance Local Productivity: Local industries get a boost, driving economic growth.
Job Creation: More people find employment, reducing unemployment rate
Promote Skill Development: Local talent gets the platform to shine, nurturing skill development.
Prevent Capital Flight: Money remains within the country’s economy, strengthening it.
Could Nigeria, under President Tinubu’s leadership, learn from this playbook?
Tech Leaders Voice Out
Several of Nigeria’s tech giants champion the idea.
Chris Uwaje, a revered name in Nigeria’s ICT sector, is one of them. His proposition is twofold:
Embrace the Indian Model: Champion local industries by halting computer imports.
Promote Collaborative Growth: Foreign manufacturers should collaborate with Nigerian companies, fostering a symbiotic relationship.
Further, to incentivize such collaborations, Uwaje believes a minimum 5-7 year ‘pioneer status’ could be granted.
Dotun Ali-Balogun, another ICT aficionado, pushes the narrative further.
He believes Nigerian government operations should leverage locally assembled computers.
And he’s not alone in this.
Michael Ikeogwu and Ayodele Ogundele, two digital maestros, echo similar sentiments.
Their mantra? “Buy Nigerian, Build Nigeria.”
Nigeria’s Home-Grown Tech Marvels
A potential ban might be worrisome to some, questioning the ability of Nigerian companies to fill the void.
Yet, companies like Zinox have debunked such myths.
Zinox: The Nigerian Tech Phenomenon
Since its inception in 2001, Zinox has been a trailblazer.
From executing intricate ICT projects in Nigeria to expanding its horizons globally, Zinox has become synonymous with excellence.
Its accolades include:
Pioneering Projects: Notable projects include card reader technology and Direct Data Capture machines.
Global Outreach: Zinox’s excellence isn’t restricted to Nigeria.
The company has significant projects in nations like Guinea Bissau, Gambia, and even the Arab nations.
And it’s not just about Zinox.
The landscape is rich with indigenous companies like RLG, Beta, Data House Technologies, and Acti-Tech Limited, showcasing their prowess.
Past Precedents: A Ray of Hope
During President Olusegun Obasanjo’s reign, the emphasis on using locally produced computers bore fruit.
Institutions ranging from the Central Bank of Nigeria to private entities like Shell and Chevron transitioned to Zinox computers.
The results were evident – local companies thrived, technology advanced, and employment surged.
Between 2016 and 2020, Nigeria spent a staggering $1.09 billion on software and computer services imports.
With a strategic pivot towards local tech reliance, such funds could be funneled to nurture domestic industries.
The Future Landscape
With global tech giants like Microsoft, Google, and IBM eyeing Nigeria’s rich talent pool, the signs are clear.
Nigeria is poised for a technological renaissance, and now may be the perfect time to make bold moves.
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What is product nationalism?
It’s the strategy of promoting domestic products over imports to boost the local economy.
Why should Nigeria adopt this approach?
It encourages local productivity, job creation, and prevents capital flight.
Who are the major players in Nigeria’s tech scene?
Zinox, RLG, Beta, and Acti-Tech Limited are among the top players.
What benefits did Nigeria witness under President Olusegun Obasanjo’s tech directives?
Increased job opportunities, advanced technology, and boosted local industries.
How much did Nigeria spend on tech imports between 2016 and 2020?
Nigeria spent about $1.09 billion on software and computer services imports.