On Thursday evening, TECNO Mobile hosted its first ever global event in Africa at the Eko Hotel & Suites Convention Centre, in Lagos, Nigeria. There, the company announced five new smartphones, including the TECNO Camon X.
Held amid much fanfare, the event was host to many key celebrities and dignitaries, among which was Nigeria's Minister of Communication, Hon. Adebayo Shittu.
During his speech, the minister said he was aware that TECNO maintains a production plant in Ethiopia, which, according to him, "is about half the population of Nigeria".
He then went on to make a case for setting up a manufacturing plant in Nigeria too. But not before acknowledging government's failure, in the past, towards providing an enabling environment. He however assured that things are changing for the better, reminding the audience that power generation now stands at 7000 MW, with additional 3500 MW promised "within the next 2 weeks".
"We are prepared to do everything that will encourage TECNO to come and set up production lines locally," Minister Shittu declared. "We have a local content policy that stipulates 40% local production and, if the products are sufficient in terms of quality, we will use legislation to discourage import into Nigeria."
While alluding to the possibility of TECNO partnering with research labs at local universities to figure out how to source materials locally, he also promised that government will make provision for incentives like tax holidays and production support.
"We are ready to partner with you (TECNO) to ensure that within the next 2 years, you will set up a production plant. Just let me know your shopping list and I will persuade government to take action on it," he concluded.
It is worthy of note that Shittu's tenure as minister of communication ends barely a year from now, in 2019. Any chances of a renewal of tenure, that will enable him follow through on his promise to TECNO, appear to be dashed by his supposed declaration to run for Oyo state governorship in 2019.