One of Nigeria’s leading indigenous computer companies, Omatek Ventures Plc, last week, set a record as the first computer company to list on the floors of the stock exchange by way of introduction.
Omatek, having met requirements of the exchange was listed and its stock are already being traded in the floors of the Nigerian stock exchange even as its private placement ended.
The company however promised that the funds it got from the concluded private placement exercise would be used to expand its activities and fund its growth plans.
Part of Omatek’s visions for listing in the stock exchange, was to ensure that it gets increased supply of the materials it needed from the manufacturers, in order to continue on a big scale on its activities.
Dedicating the feat to the media, at a recent press conference in Lagos, MD of Omatek, Mrs Florence Seriki said this was not the first time her company was scoring first in the pursuit of attracting fame to the sector. She said: “Our computer factories in Ghana and Nigeria, which are the first in Africa have presented us with enormous opportunities, making us the first in the continent to locally produce computer casings and speakers from Completely Knocked Down process (CKD), locally produced home entertainment speakers and plasma and flat screens from Semi-Knocked Down (SKD) process.
“We are also the first in Africa to buy directly CKD process parts from front-line producers across the world, and the first in the continent to win Microsoft Systems Builder Award 2005 for Central, West and East Africa.”
Seriki however called for increased patronage of local computers, saying that was the only way indigenous manufacturers would be encouraged to lift the face of the ICT sector. She decried the development which sees foreign computer manufacturers who also buy their raw materials from the same source with the local manufacturers, getting more patronage than the local ones only just for reduced percentage of prices.
She however explained that the reason for that reduced prices was because those foreign manufacturers buy their raw materials in large quantities and get quantum rebates and therefore have more than 80% of the finished products, shipped to Africa to compete with the locals who buy their own raw materials in smaller quantities.
She argued that if only for patriotism, the indigenous manufacturers should be given serious patronage. She however maintained that her company hopes to maintain its current level of purchases from the manufacturers, while it has introduced new marketing and new channels as part of a strategy that will contribute to the enhancement of its sales volume.
“The volume challenge associated with buying from these key first class manufacturers had been very tough for us at the beginning, but we were determined to maintain buying from these factories. Also, being a completely knocked down factory requires us having sufficient funding to manage the supply chain challenges. If one ingredient or raw material is not available, you cannot produce. Our shareholders and customers had contributed in assisting us to start to meet the required Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ) required from us to maintain global quality,” she noted.
For her, assembling completely knocked down process parts from front-line computer software manufacturers across the world, has helped in promoting technology transfer, research and development and other technical know-how in the country, even as it has helped to keeping experts updated about new technological developments in the ICT industry.
Seriki also admonished the banks in the country to assist the growth and development of the Nigerian economy by increasing their support to Small and Medium scale Enterprises (SMEs).
According to Seriki, “Nigerian banks need to contribute to the growth of SMEs. This is because the future of the country belongs to the SMEs. Omatek, for example, has helped in the promotion of many developmental initiatives in the country. We have pioneered youth recruitment and youth empowerment in Informationt Technology (IT), created many derived SMEs from our activities, generated massive employment in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector.