By Ayo Akinfe
 Is it just me but growing up, every Hausa and Fulani man I knew had a transistor radio. Now, there are 61m Hausas in Nigeria and 15m Fulanis across the country, making a combined total of 76m. Is there any larger market anywhere on earth for transistor radios?
 As we all know, other minority ethnic groups across northern Nigeria like the Kanuri, Bachana, Jukun, Tiv, Gwari, Nupe, Igala, Ibirra, Idoma, Berom, Angas, etc, are all influenced by the activities of their neighbours. As as result, many of them carry transistor radios too. Has anyone actually conducted a survey to determine how many radio users there are in Nigeria? From what I can see, the number will probably be at least 50m
 Given that about half our population lives in rural areas where they do not have access to the Internet, phone masts and Broadband, the transistor radio remains an important method of communication across Nigeria and will remain so for probably the next two decades
 This then begs the question why Nigeria is not the radio manufacturing capital of the world? Going back to my O’Level economics class, we have all the necessary requirements for investment in a plant – Domestic market, raw materials, technical expertise, skilled workforce, etc
 Can someone please explain to me why the likes of Sony, Sharp, Bush, Bosch, Phillips, etc have not been compelled to open a plant that manufacturers something like 1m transistor radios a year in northern Nigeria?
 Not only should we be manufacturing radios for the domestic market but we should also be exporting them across the West African sub-region. If President Buhari really wants to make himself the champion of the Fulani cause worldwide, this is the kind of programme he should initiate. Get the world’s electronic goods manufacturers to produce transistor radios at half the cost by manufacturing locally and them shipping them across West Africa
 I actually think there is a case for building “Radio Routes” across West Africa. Get these companies to build railway lines or dual carriageways linking up their markets. That is what the government should be doing, not wasting taxpayers money building railway lines that lead to nowhere. Get Sony to build a Kano-Niamey railway line, a Dakar to Ouagadougou line and a Bamako to Bouake line. etc
 Knowing these Japanese manufacturers especially, they will use this opportunity to come up with something radical. They will most likely build an Internet-capable transistor radio that offers you everything in one. They will almost certainly manufacture a product called a Radiophone that acts as a mobile phone, transistor radio, camera, iPad, etc all in one
 President Buhari should be pressing for the world’s largest transistor radio manufacturing plant to be built in somewhere like Kano, Kaduna, Katsina. Sokoto or Dutse. Just imagine the impact it would have on the local economy if it employed say 50,000 people
 Over the long term, Nigeria really needs a thriving electronic goods manufacturing base, so we really need this as a platform to spur the growth of local companies that manufacturer consumer electronic goods like TV sets, fridges, cookers, washing machines, laptops, mobile phones, dishwashers, etc. It is simply not possible to sustain a country of 200m people on imports!