Shittu visits AfriOne, promises FG’s patronage of local technology firms

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The Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, has said that Federal Government is working to discourage the country’s technology market from becoming a dumping ground for inferior overseas products.He said the government was also planning to ensure local technology firms are strengthened.

Shittu said this yesterday during a facility tour of AfriOne’s state-of-the-art laptop and mobile devices factory in Lagos.The minister, who stated that local firms, including AfriOne, deserve to be protected from undue industry competition, said: “I have visited factories like this overseas. So, when I see something like this in Nigeria, I want to put my full weight behind it and to ensure we promote it so that government would take it as its own project.”

He, however, said the government would only give tax rebates to companies who make a genuine case for it.“If we have cases that are strong enough, certainly, the Federal Government would look at them,” he said.

Meanwhile, AfriOne’s Director of Strategy and Government Relations, Lekan Akinjide, said the company’s products, which include laptops, tablets and mobile phones, could compete favourably with top players in the industry, especially with the added advantage of an indigenous end-to-end supply chain.

“It is the same quality, it is the same benchmark, it is the same testing that our products go through but with accessible servicing and repairs. “We have a team here…so in terms of repair works, and servicing, they are done locally.”

Also, the firm’s production director, Sandeep Natu, who conducted the facility tour, said the company was ready to create a viable economic cluster that would include suppliers of the different components the firm needed.

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