By Ayo Akinfe
(1) We have just ended a weekend where millions of Nigerians have thrown owambe parties, weddings, birthdays and celebrated anniversaries. This was topped up by millions of Muslims going to the mosque on Friday and millions of Nigerian Christians going to church on Sunday. These large crowds were all addressed by microphone
(2) If you look at nations more populous than Nigeria like China, India, the US, Brazil and Indonesia, you will find it unlikely that they held as many parties as us over the weekend. I also doubt if their clergymen addressed as many worshippers as our pastors and imams over the weekend
(3) Shure is the most popular microphone brands in the world. At any given music venue around the world, there’s a high probability that a Shure microphone will be in use on stage. Do they have a factory in Nigeria? Ideally, Shure should be a Nigerian company
(4) I checked out the world’s 13 leading microphone manufacturers and found them to include Shure, Sennheiser, Neumann, Rode, AKG, Danish Pro Audio, Electro-Voice, Schoeps, Audio-Technica, Royer Labs, Blue Microphones. I find it totally unacceptable that not one of them owns a manufacturing facility in Nigeria
(5) Now, this for me is not a government matter. It is not the government that needs the microphones but the Nigerian consumer. What stops our private sector from floating a company to manufacture microphones when they have a captive market begging for these products?
(6) Take the faith sector of our economy for instance, we have all these millionaire clergymen who have millions of followers and who are investors in several other sectors!like universities. They also own fleets of private jets. Why have they not come together to form a holding company to manufacture microphones for their churches and mosques?
(7) Can someone please explain to me why this matter has not been debated by say the Christian Association of Nigeria or the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria? They fill stadia with worshippers on a daily basis so even if it is just them buying the microphones they manufacture, a guaranteed market is there
(8) Given the way Nigeran clergymen have exported their churches across Africa, it would be dead easy to similarly export microphones if we want to. This is just a classic case of intellectual laziness on our part. We have failed to seize on an opening in the market
(9) I will challenge anyone trying to blame the government here to explain to me why this should concern politicians. If you look at the three sectors of the economy that use microphones the most – Nollywood, religious faith and music – they have all grown phenomenally over the last 20 years without government support. If they can quadruple their revenue without government support and in spite of poor facilities and infrastructure, they can also manufacture microphones
(10) This is the classic malaise we suffer in Nigeria. We are a nation of perpetual consumers who give little thought to production. All we are really interested in doing is bringing goods in and distributing them, shamelessly enriching manufacturers elsewhere. We sell primary raw products and use the proceeds to import finished goods. This unique Nigeriaeconomics is simply not sustainable. President Buhari shut the border with Benin Republic to assist with the fight against this but he now needs to back this up with an aggressive campaign to promote manufacturing