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Can the most basic of electronic devices be manufactured in Nigeria?

Published: Saturday, 01 January 2011

I visited a friend at the computer village in Ikeja Lagos a week ago. My laptop had been behaving very funny for about 2-days, so I took it to his shop for a checkup. When I got there, he was busy "brushing" a board of another laptop; "brushing", I mean, scrubing the board's surface with a toothbrush.

We exchanged greetings, he told me to take a seat, that he'll be ready for me in about 5-minutes. Meanwhile, he talked about the problem with the piece of hardware he was working on. He told me that he felt some devices had gone faulty, and he was just about to change them. I asked what exactly, and my guy said a capacitor had blown.

For five seconds, I travelled back to my University days, back to those electronic circuit subjects, remembered when I felt I was on top of the world, because I had scored 100% in a particular test. Back to the present world, I watched as my friend reached into a desk drawer, pulled out a very small box containing capacitors, brought one out and compared what he was holding with what was on the board.

I asked my friend where they(he and his computer buisness associates at the computer village in Ikeja) buy these devices. I wasn't stunned to hear that they(resistors and capacitors, the most basic of electronic devices) are imported from Europe/Asia; but it got me thinking about the possibility or impossibility that such things be manufactured locally - in Nigeria - thus the title of this post.

Re-arranging my thoughts, I'm asking:

  • can resistors, capacitors, diodes, etc., be manufactured in Nigeria?
  • why can't the most basic of electronic devices be manufactured locally? why are we importing very simple technology?

800px-Resistor

above picture is sourced from Wikipedia(click here)

Yes, I am aware that manufacturing a resistor, for example, is not a cup of cake, but I'm thinking shouldn't there be a technological foresight into the future for microelectronics, locally? Where is the Minister of Science and Technology?

I'm thinking: Microelectronics, home-grown research and development, electronic component manufacturing; while the rest of the world has gone into nano-technologies, we haven't still started with "micro".

Yes we don't have the technology readily / locally, but can't we start with a technological transfer of such from developed nations, and over time, this can be improved upon locally, besides, the raw materials for these electronic devices are very much available.

I would like this to be a call, out to all like minds. As we start the year, can we rub our minds together to see we can make a formidable impact?

Should you wish to contact me regarding the above, please leave a comment with your email address, I'll get back to you; or rather use the contact form!.

Happy new year!

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