Over the past years, drones also called Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) have evolved from impressive futuristic inventions into indispensable assets across diverse global industries. Nigeria has also embraced this trend as an increasing number of manufacturers actively contribute to the rapid expansion of the country’s drone ecosystem. These companies are revolutionizing the future of drone technology in this African nation by exploring its applications in defence, agriculture monitoring, and beyond. The year 2022 witnessed an ongoing surge in the global drone industry, fuelled by remarkable technological advancements and evolving consumer choices. It reached US$3.64 billion, during the year showcasing a significant surge when compared to the previous year.
According to the Teal Group, the expenditure on Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) is expected to surge globally. By 2023, the market worth of UAS is projected to skyrocket to $23 billion, and this upward trajectory is predicted to continue over the following decade. This pattern highlights the increasing importance of these systems in modern military operations. Another trend emerging is the movement towards more compact, disposable designs capable of functioning effectively in the presence of sophisticated anti-aircraft defence systems.
Nigeria’s drone manufacturers exhibit remarkable potential.
Drones have become increasingly popular in both business and military applications, revolutionizing the world of aviation technology. With continuous advancements, these unmanned aerial vehicles continue to elevate their capabilities. The realm of drones also holds promising prospects for growth and progress. Nigeria’s drone manufacturers, although relatively nascent, have already exhibited remarkable potential and ground breaking ingenuity across various industries. The surge in Nigeria’s drone industry stems from the rising need for aerial monitoring and data gathering in various sectors like agriculture and security, leading to substantial growth.
In 2024, the Nigerian Drone market accumulated revenue reached US$11.9m, with projected annual growth of 3.70% (CAGR 2024-2028). China outperforms other countries, generating US$1,526m in the global Drones market for the same year. Interestingly, when taking into account the total population, each individual in Nigeria contributes US$0.05 to the revenue of the Drone market in 2024. It is estimated that by the year 2028, the number of drones in the market will peak at 27.7k units.
Obtaining funds is an obstacle for emerging manufacturers.
It is predicted that there will be a 3.2% increase in volume by 2025, Nigeria is projected to make a small contribution towards the overall volume of the Drones market in 2024. Despite showing great potential, the Nigerian drone industry faces obstacles that need to be addressed. The evolving regulations pertaining to drone usage necessitate the establishment of well-defined guidelines to ensure responsible and safe operation. Moreover, obtaining financing and acquiring advanced technologies can prove to be an obstacle for emerging manufacturers.
Some major manufacturers of drones in Nigeria include Advanced Protection Systems (APS), a company dedicated to innovating and developing counter-drone solutions: Proforce Limited offers a range of tactical drones solutions; Terra Haptic, committed to catering AgriDrones specifically for the agricultural industry; Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT), spearheading the progress of Nigerian drone technology through research and development initiatives; National Space Research & Development Agency (NASRDA), Nigeria’s primary space agency, plays a pivotal role in developing and utilizing drone technology.
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Moreover, Nigeria’s drone industry brims with a promising horizon, even amidst its tussles. To fully unlock the vast potential of this sector, it is crucial to sustain government backing, foster collaboration among stakeholders, and ensure substantial investment in research and development. More so, with the multitude of innovative manufacturers and technological advancements, the industry is on the verge of making substantial progress. This progress will not only boost the country’s economy but also reinforce the security, agriculture, and other significant sectors that rely on drones.