“Baba Manual” is our popular mechanic well known around Surulere for his patience in handling car repairs and maintenance. There are two personal observations I have made about him, one is he never jokes with his labour charges and the second is his love for “fairly used” or “Tokunbo” parts. Tokunbo is the name given to those born abroad and this name has become a popular expression amongst traders for goods that have been used abroad. These goods have the characteristics of being seemingly cheaper and as Baba Manual will say “A good Tokunbo part is better than the new car parts of nowadays”. In a way he could be right because investigations show that most new parts are now OEM – Original Equipment Manufacturer parts. This is also a way to get parts cheaper to the typical Nigerian who will only buy if he has a good deal. We will hopefully take a look at how OEM works in another post but let’s look at how we can leverage on this love for cheap in our post covid-19 print house strategies.

Textile printers: Did you know that In Sub-Saharan Africa, according to a report I read from Africa Practice ranked Nigeria as the third largest textile industry in 1980? I believe we came in after Egypt and South Africa, our combined strength then represented 63% of the textile capacity of the West African sub-region. 40 years after, what happened? Did you also know that of the estimated $2.5 trillion global worth of the fashion industry of which Africa’s share is just about 1%? If we look closely at this, 1% share in Nigeria, “bend down boutique” or “Okrika” takes the majority. Did you know that the organizers of Lagos fashion week in 2018 -if I remember correctly – had to include the used clothing sector in the exhibition? Now look out of your window and you will notice that more than 50% of the clothes we wear are printed (patterns, designs, logos, or even embellishments). Never again should the organisers of any fashion show not include textile screen printers, DTG printers, textile cut and paste printers, embroidery makers and all those who make wearing lovely printed clothes possible in coming exhibitions. Time won’t permit me to look at used or Tokunbo printing equipment and spare parts in this edition but in all, Nigeria printers must look beyond economic troubles, bad policy and government negligence that has severely retarded our sector and as a matter of urgency get our technical institutions awake to their responsibilities of ensuring we start looking at made in Nigeria printing equipment. Globalization as we know it is already giving way to vivid and authentic localization. Thanks to the lessons learnt from Covid-19. Stay safe people Thoughts from: Akin Oduwole CE @ Technology Global

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