More than 15 years after Nigeria joined the global system for mobile (GSM), the first made-in-Nigeria phone has finally debut, thus throwing the country into the growing league of communication gadgets manufacturers.
The phone, which components are sourced and assembled locally, serves as a technological breakthrough and precedent for the country.
The handset, which is coming from the stable of AfriOne Limited, a technology-driven enterprise, is poised to standardise the use of technology in Nigeria, offering affordable innovation and removing barriers to large scale adoption of advanced technology.
Speaking at the commissioning of its manufacturing plant in Lagos, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, AfriOne, Sahir Berry, said the inauguration of the plant serves as a pioneer in the manufacture and assembly of high-end communication technology in the African space.
Berry said the software of the phones is designed to suit the Nigerian local market, stating that the company is developing an ecosystem that will help and support local app developers.
According to him, the facility will produce 300,000 products in a month on its four production lines.
“AfriOne champions corporate socio-economic development, while wholly supporting the ‘Made-in-Nigeria’ mantra. The company models products that utilise cutting-edge technology reflect a modern, sleek design and integrate the latest and arguably necessary financial technology such as mobile health, mobile education and mobile banking. This is all with the goal of facilitating connectivity among Nigerians and the rest of the world,” Berry said.
He said the company’s state of the art facility spreads over 20,000 square feet including Research and Development (R&D) and testing laboratories.
The Co-founder of AfriOne, Hemang Kapur, said the products are proudly and smartly crafted in Nigeria by Nigerians, adding that the company will serve Africa’s largest socioeconomic power player with integrity.
He said that the products boast of cutting-edge technology, stylish design, affordable price points, and particularly, an inherent commitment to financial integration.
According to him, the financial integration is achieved through the automatically installed mobile banking and financial technology, through the NowNow application.
“AfriOne aims to democratise technology by offering affordable innovations through our product offerings and removing barriers for large scale adoption of advanced technologies in Nigeria, hence our motto, AfriOne, one for everyone.
“We offer a wide range of feature-rich and technologically loaded product lines from dual SIM mobile phones to educational tablet PCs and even android smart watches,” Kapur said.
The Chief Operating Officer of AfriOne, Sandeep Natu, said the company currently employs approximately 500 staff, who worked at its state-of-the-art product and testing facilities with an installed capacity of 300,000 products per month.
The Managing Director of Contec Global, Roheen Berry, said that in addition to the production of contemporary ICT devices and accessories, AfriOne is also dedicated to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), by facilitating education and training programmes, and encouraging entrepreneurship in Nigeria and across Africa. , recognising it as a means of contributing to economic growth.
Lagos State Governor, Akinwumi Ambode, who commissioned the plant, reaffirmed his commitment to creating an enabling environment for businesses to thrive, and youths to become more creative, enterprising and optimally utilise their God-given potential.
He said ICT is a vital instrument that is used by government to enhance service delivery strategies, and to bring about development to the economy.
Ambode, who was represented by the Commissioner for Science and Technology, Olufemi Olubiyi, said the location of the factory in Lagos, will generate direct and indirect job opportunities, and wealth creation as well as leverage the potential of the 24hours economy of Lagos mega city.
He commended the efforts of the company to further train Lagos State polytechnic students on how to assemble, repair and manage phone devices. This, he said will coordinate an enterprise development initiative targeted at final year students of tertiary institutions in the state. This initiative has benefitted more than 5000 students since inception.
“I’m sure opportunities provided by AfriOne will be of immense benefits to students of the Lagos State Polytechnic. As a government, we are not unaware of the challenges being faced by our youths.