Cost of laptop computers in Nigeria rise by over 60% in less than a year 2022
When Adetayo Adebola, a Ph.D. student, walked into a SLOT outlet to buy a laptop last year, the price tag on the 13-inch MacBook Pro with touch bar (2.0GHz quad-core 10th generation intel core i5 processor, 512GB) was around half a million, but today, the same laptop cost is at least N867,000.
Adetola Akamo, an investment analyst, bought a 360 degree Lenovo laptop (8GB ram, 256GB tom, corei5) in March 2021 at N360,000. He was however shocked when he went back to a famous store in Ikeja and found that the same laptop now goes for N550,000.
He said, “I needed to buy the same laptop for my sister and was shocked that the price had gone up by such an amount barely a year later.”
Adebola and Akamo are only two out of several Nigerians lamenting over the hike in laptop computers. Nairametrics also gathered that Nigerians are paying more to acquire laptops of all categories in the face of double-digit inflation.
Aside from the brands mentioned above, others are also affected by the hike. For instance, while HP Elitebook 850 G4 Laptop, which was sold at N450,000 in 2020, now goes for N750,000; Dell XPS 15 Laptop, ASIS ROG GL752V gaming laptop, and Microsoft Surface Pro 4, which were sold at N650,000, N750,000, and N580,000 are now sold at N950,000, N950,000 and N800,000 respectively.
- Our findings also revealed that the cost of laptop computers depends largely on build quality, sleekness, processing power, RAM capacity, hard disk capacity, operating system, optical storage type, and display type and size.
- That is not all. Features that can also add to the price of a laptop computer include Touchscreen, Fingerprint reader, card reader, microphone, Audio system, and so on.
What they are saying about the surge
Speaking on the reason for the increasing cost, Abdulazeez Minkaheel, a laptop importer in Ibadan, ascribed the high cost to increasing exchange rate and shipping fee.
- He said, “Most especially, the cost of laptops is on the high for those that ship goods. Commodities are being valued according to their weight. The weightier the goods, the higher the price. That’s why you see most people don’t sell heavy and low quality laptops because the cost of shipping is even higher than their cost price. So, business vendors prefer to go for all these latest MacBook pro laptops due to their lesser weight and profitability at end of sales.”
- According to him, the introduction of new generation laptops is also a reason for rising prices, a notion that customers fail to understand, hence always comparing the present cost with the amount in previous years. “That’s why you see most people telling you that ‘I bought this same laptop N45,000 last 5 years,’ and they still expect to meet the same laptop at the same price,” he said.
However, some experts said this may also be due to the effect of the pandemic—which led to a hold of the general supply of laptops—spilling into subsequent years.
HR managers lament over hike too
Some Human Resource Managers, who spoke to Nairametrics in separate interviews, also lamented over what they described as unavoidable expenses.
- One of them, Funso Olakotan, explained that in the case of her office, which is a new IT firm located along Herbert Macaulay road, Yaba, she had to spend over N10 million to purchase only 6 laptop computers.
- She said, “We had no choice but to spend that much because we needed those computers to set up the office and we can not afford to settle for less.”
- Commenting on this, Bayo Oshunde, another HR manager said, “The hike is really biting hard here in Nigeria. Prices are at an all-time high for few systems available in the market and a number of sellers are taking a pound of flesh from consumers as a result.
- “But this is just the beginning for Nigeria. In my opinion, the situation is going to get even worse before it gets better. Right now, the Federal Government has made a few significant concessions to ASUU, and word on the street is that the strike may be called off soon. The resumption of university students will put even greater pressure on demand for laptops, PCs, and other devices.
- “The downside of this is that many of our students in their final or penultimate years in school, whose parents or guardians cannot afford to compete for the heavily-priced few units on sale, will be forced to enter the already overstretched and fiercely-competitive labour market as analogue graduates.”
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- Recall that in 2020, there was a scarcity of laptops and personal computers (PCs) caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and increased demand for units worldwide. The global computer Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) admitted that there were no easy fixes or quick ways out of the scarcity, whilst adding that a number of paid-up orders were already being recalibrated for shipment in April/May or June the following year, 2021.
- This led to demand outweighing supply, especially in a country like Nigeria, as manufacturers struggled to cope with supply chain disruptions for gadgets like HP, Lenovo, Dell, and Asus, among others.
As digitization deepens daily in Nigeria, a lot of students and businesses are fast tapping into the use of portable systems such as the laptop to scale learning and operations.
- This, coupled with the presence of a high exchange rate for the dollar and high cost of shipping, may mean that the high cost of laptops is here to stay for a long time if all factors remain constant.