The International Trade Centre has disclosed that Nigerians spend over $772.25 million on phone importation in the year 2021.
Statistics from the international body that focuses on trade also disclosed Nigeria spent $807.95 million on the importation of phone sets in 2019 and $765.57 million in 2020.
This shows that Nigeria spent $2.35bn on telephone importation in three years, according to data from ITC.
The body explained that the imported telephone sets included: smartphones, facsimile machines for line telephony, teleprinters, parts of telephone sets, and more.
The data further revealed that most of the phone sets coming into the country were from China ($1.71 billion in the time under review). The nation also imports from other nations such as Hong Kong, Sweden, the United States, Netherlands, Vietnam, Mexico, and others.
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The Nigerian Communication Commission, NCC, recently revealed that about 63 million technology devices were sold in Nigeria every year, quoting data from Original Equipment Manufacturers.
The commission revealed that there were about 132 million unique devices on the nation’s telecommunication network in 2020 with the average owner changing a device every six months.
Also speaking, the Managing Partner, Bodds IT Solutions, Emmanuel Osho, disclosed that Nigerians spent a lot on devices as the market grew larger every year.
He said, “An average person in their 20s and 30s has like two or three devices which include laptops, phones, and others. To be honest, the market could run into billions. The second-hand product is larger because of the low purchasing power of the market. Ideally, the majority of the buyers of new devices are organisations.”
The Public Relations Officer of the Computer and Allied Product Dealers Association of Nigeria, Solagbade Olaifa, had also disclosed that about N5bn worth of devices were being sold at Computer Village, Ikeja, Lagos yearly.
He had disclosed that Nigeria did not have the technology to produce devices yet. He said, “We do not have the technology to produce now, but we can fund part of it. We cannot produce as a whole because for every device, even over there, different companies produce its components. It is not only one company that produces every component of the devices. However, Nigeria can start somewhere.”
According to Counterpoint Research’s Global Monthly Handset Sales Tracker, the annual smartphone sales in Nigeria grew by 81 per cent year-on-year in 2021.
The Nigerian phone is dominated by foreign players such as Tecno, Samsung, and Itel. While Nigeria has the seventh-highest number of phones in the world, according to the World Population Review, its local phone manufacturing industry is non-existent, and attempts to kickstart it have at best failed to flatter.
While in Egypt, the restrictions on the import of mobile devices and the requirement to open documentary credits before importing shipments have prompted companies to manufacture locally in an attempt to not lose the Egyptian market, which has been suffering from a severe shortage of mobile devices since the end of last March.
It is to be known that, the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) issued a set of new import regulations at the end of last February that came into effect in March, including doing away with collection documents in the implementation of all import operations and working with documentary credits, however, collection documents are allowed for production requirements.
Since the end of March, the cell phone market has not witnessed the entry of new goods — except for some brands in a limited way — according to dealers and merchants.