By Kokumo Goodie, Lagos, Nigeria
An African mobile phone, personal computers (PC) and liquid crystal display (LCD) manufacturer, RLG, said its $10 million factory will be opened before the end of next month.
It will be the first to be established in the country that boasts of 120 million active telephone subscribers. Major foreign original equipment manufacturer (OEMs) have consistently shunned the idea of citing an assembly plant in Nigeria, blaming infrastructural deficit to justify their position.
The Chairman of RLG, Roland Agambire, disclosed this while he paid a short visit to Lagos to pick the African Telecoms Personality of the Year Awards he won at the Nigerian Telecoms Awards. He said when the factory is finally streamed, it will employ more than 1000 workers, while another set of 10,000 will be employed indirectly by the firm.
He said this would boost government’s internally generated revenue (IGR) as those employed would pay tax while the ‘twin evil’ of poverty and want would be banished, giving way to peace, security and abundant life to the people.
The factory has been established in Ilesa, Osun State, while another one has been designed to take off in Osogbo, the state capital.
Agambire said the time has come for Africa to fight for economic independence having got political independence from the British. According to him, this could only be achieved if indigenous original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are patronised by “our people.”
He said the factory was the biggest assembly plant in sub-Saharan Africa, arguing that its products had been deeply researched. According to him, the time has come for the emergence of an African brand, adding that citing the factory in the country provides a unique opportunity to use ICT to create skills and jobs for the youths.
“We are building the biggest assembly plant in Nigeria, training 20,000 graduates. We are on a missionary journey to turn Africa into a manufacturing hub. We must stop being a raw material producing continent where our raw materials are taken away and brought back to us as finished products, to a production continent. We want to create opportunities for young intelligent Nigerians to excel,” he said.
He said the assembly plant would be 100 per cent local content driven, adding however that the components of the product will be sourced from countries where they are produced from. “We are not going to bring in any foreign technical person to run the plants. So, it is going to be run by indigenous personnel. The people who will run the factory have been trained,” he said.