10 basic consumer items Nigeria should aim to be self-reliant in manufacturing by the end of 2020 as part of the Covid-19 recovery plan

Ayo Akinfe

(1) Wrist watches
(2) Mobile phones
(3) Laptop computers
(4) iPads
(5) Plasma Television sets
(6) Fridge-freezers
(7) Handbags
(8) Irons
(9) Generator sets
(10) Bicycles

I do not think it is asking too much for us as a nation to produce 50m units of each of these items annually. No doubt there are a lot of prototypes out there but alas, how do we get from prototype to mass production?

This is clearly the biggest weakness of the Nigerian economy. Our president cannot invite say a dozen manufacturers to Aso Rock and tell them he wants 2m units of any of these items within three months and be guaranteed delivery.

When I look at our constant running to China for the most basic things, it is easy to see why. There is a total lack of manufacturing capacity in the Nigerian economy.

From what I can see, the only company in the whole of the country with the capacity to mass-produce say 1m units of any product is Innoson Motors. Why has someone like Dino Melaye not been asked for instance to invest his immense wealth in manufacturing?

My advice to President Buhari would be to make the recruitment, production and support of manufacturers his main priority for now. I do not see how else we are going to end this import dependency without such an aggressive programme.

With crude oil in the doldrums, we simply need to produce what we consume. If we cannot produce these items, then we simply have to stop using them!