Digital Technology opportunities in Nigeria

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Nigerian business and digital technology, digital divide,security and fraud prevention (419) 

The one year old Nigerian government of president Muhammadu Buhari is still in the process of getting rid of corruption. Corruption has been a bane to Nigeria, so much so the president has admitted “Nigerians are collectively fantastically corrupt”. Corruption, including fraud (also known as 419) has led to squandering of the vast economic opportunities made available by burgeoning local talent, human capital and natural resources.

There was no doubt that this was going to be a gigantic task and some may even argue an impossible one; however Buhari is still on the case. His speed has not been great either, at least nothing compared to the last time he was a head of state; he still arguably holds the national record of a leader who executed the most national projects in 20 months.

President Buhari had been heavily criticised for not speedily rolling out a clear economic policy, which led to collapsing indices of doing business in Nigeria. However as dynamic and resilient as the Nigerian people and economy can be; sure enough new business trends and opportunities are unveiling themselves. It is becoming clear that despite the stiff resistance put up by corruption and their systems, new opportunities and policies are emerging that have to be seized by entrepreneurs with foresight. The business landscape and even market shares are radically changing before our eyes, but only the discerning will pick this up, amidst all the typical Nigerian political wranglings heavily laced with ethnicity, religious bigotry and unsettled political scores and the partisan punditry.

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This blog posts is one of five that constitutes the article “Seizing new market opportunities with digital technology” This article is a chapter of my upcoming book “THE NEW NIGERIAN DIGITAL ECONOMY”

1. Nigerian business and digital technology, digital divide,security issues and safeguarding against 419ers

2. Seizing New digital opportunities emerging amidst Buhari’s anti-corruption challenges

3. The treasure trove of data, not just in Nigeria, but a portal to all of Africa

4. The unleashing of R&D opportunities, turning lack of collaboration and cooperation.problems into a goldmine opportunity

5. Moulding future trends for emerging African markets

 

BACKGROUND

Let’s get the background and basic facts of where Nigeria is right now, as a whole. Nigeria is currently ranked 30th in the world, in terms of GDP, Indeed Nigeria still relies on crude oil for 80% of its foreign revenue, but that’s only for foreign revenue. As of 2015 crude oil accounted for 14% of GDP. The chart below indicates each sector’s contribution to GDP (Source: energymixreport.com). Nigeria will get the highest average GDP growth in the world between 2010–2050 according to Citigroup. The world bank states that Nigeria has reached lower middle class income status. Ironically most of the growth in GDP hasn’t come from Oil and gas, but from ICT growth in the economy. The most recent data suggest that services account for 57% of GDP which was attributed to growth in ICT. The sector grew 7.7% in the third quarter of 2015, above overall growth which slowed to 4.7% in the same period. And the National Communication Commission (NCC) estimated that telecoms contributed up to 10% to economic output in 2015, with the potential to increase to 25% by 2050.

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For the purpose of this article: Digital technologies is used to describe the use of digital resources to effectively find, analyse, create, communicate, and use information in a digital context. This encompasses the use of web 2.0 tools, digital media tools, programming tools and software applications.

Recently the Guardian published – Nigeria’s rapidly expanding middle class is drivng demand for new newspapers, magazines, radio and television programmes, music, film, and more recently, digital media of all sorts. Thus Nigeria is the single fastest and largest media market in sub-Saharan Africa, and a handful of Nigerian media outfits have a pan-African reach. While the digital economy is still in its early days, its future is promising and the brands and individuals that integrate digital into the core of their work will reap the huge benefits when the space fully matures.

Lagos residents will be familiar with “Computer Village”  where Uche Obi, a dealer in mobile phones and accessories at the Computer Village, Lagos, said digital technologies have impacted so much on the way businesses are run. “For me, I upload my business online, giving me access to several millions of buyers out there, and I sit in my shop and transact business worth millions of naira, using digital technology tools,” Obi said – as found in an Accenture 2015 Survey..

At present according to the Guardian, there are over 100 million digital subscribers, with 100% penetration, And it gets better with the expansion of competing national fibre backbone networks, applications such as e-commerce, online banking and e-payments, e-health, e-learning and e-government which are rapidly evolving. The government in early 2015 also committed to increasing broadband penetration from about 8% to 36% by 2018.

Buhari’s clampdown on corruption has no doubt disturbed the money flow pathways and business as usual attitude, and this rejigging of the system is no doubt presenting a shock to the economy. Many will argue a more nuanced approach will have eased the burden, others will argue that a cancer such as corruption cannot be treated in 4 years, except by brutally severing off gangrened limbs of corruption, if and when they can be identified in a democratic dispensation. However in this new digital economy, new opportunities for e-healthcare, e-Agriculture, e-portals for different farm produce, and manufactured products according to quality are now becoming not just wanted, but needed, as happened recently when some of my digital friends rudely discovered that the Tomatoes we take for granted, is by far the stable to 75% of Nigerian meals especially because our soups and stews. Thus they had to scour the locality for Tomato farmers, as lack of tomatoes and price of tomatoes presented an opportunity as much as the scarcity problem.

This is just for Tomatoes, with foresight, we can see that because of Nigerians over-reliance on FOREX to get imported products, there will now be focus for indigenously produced produce and products. This is where Digital technology is most needed and where Debonair Training is continuing to fill the gap and need as IBM certified, experienced, reliable and credible national database for industry provider. An aggregated database that uses our E-Business technology (Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing) to provide multiple categorised  data “JIT” – (Just in time) to entrepreneurs, thus facilitating decisions quicker, allowing more thorough research studies and of course hindsight, insight and foresight to meeting the market’s needs, and providing solutions to problems faster.

The current Rice inflation and recently Tomato inflation, and some few months back Fuel scarcity, could have been solved much faster and effects less obvious, if sufficient numbers of trained “Digital savvy Entrepreneurs” had filled this business space.

DIGITAL DIVIDE

The Services percentage of GDP in Nigeria has risen sharply in the last 10 years, essentially due to a tiny “filling of the gap” in the “digital divide. This created enough room for the sector increase, as much as it has increased. However, there is much more room to come and much more innovations in the making, following implementation of existing policies and creation of new ones.

“Information technology is shaping our dreams very significantly. It is a very, very significant tool to prepare the young people for tomorrow and to help us improve the economy for today.” ~ Turner Isoun Minister of Science and Technology Nigeria

How do you educate four million children that you produce every year and prepare them to be competitive in the 21st century? That is our biggest challenge. We must use technology to democratize knowledge.” ~ Nasir Ahmad el-Rafai Minister Federal Capital Territory

The above two quotes are from previous ministers of Nigeria, to give us scope of their appreciation of the divide and evidently it hasn’t all been lip-service.

Intel and Microsoft corporations have invested deeply in Nigeria and done their research. In a recent paper published by Intel:

It found the following impact in bridging the divide so far:

digital divide• 55,000 Nigerians have purchased highly capable PCs.

• The capital city of Abuja is covered by a high-speed WiMAX* network.

• Four local PC manufacturers are producing PCs for the program and have increased production volumes by approximately 50 percent.

• Three banks are offering loans, and two have extended the program to their own employees.

• Participating employers include private enterprises, along with federal and state ministries and agencies.

• Internet connectivity

• Delivery and setup

• Two years of robust post-sales technical support, including a six-day-a-week hotline

• Three-year manufacturer’s’ warranty (parts and labor) plus two years of insurance

Intel aligned the program with government priorities and objectives. The government’s goals included building a computer-literate workforce and improving the nation’s economy. It decided on an Employee Purchase Program (EPP) that would help private and public sector workers purchase PCs. Intel’s survey showed that only 26 percent of Nigeria’s workforce felt they had adequate IT skills, and an EPP would be an effective way to boost those skills. Employees would also present a lower-risk lending target than other constituencies might.

This penetration in bridging the digital divide must start from bottom up as well as top down. Concerning secondary schools:

In terms of exams and test scores, there have been great improvements in the pilot class as compared to other classes in the same grade. I believe the classmate PC introduction caused these improvements.” ~ Edegbe Osamwoni Perry Teacher Government J

Nigeria is also the site of Africa’s first mobile eLearning school. Corona Secondary School, which is located in the Ogun state north west of Lagos and is one of Nigeria’s leading private secondary schools, wants to give its elite students the benefits of advanced technology and proven learning models. Building on its already substantial ICT infrastructure, Corona implemented a high-speed WiMAX wireless network and established a program to help parents purchase an Intel processor-based laptop computer. Approximately 200 students and their families have purchased Intel-based laptops through the program, empowering teachers and students to use technology and the Internet in all areas of the curriculum and at any location on campus. Corona’s teachers have taken advantage of the Intel® Teach** program and skoool™ teaching and learning resources. “Many students don’t like mathematics, but when you take them to the PC to work on it, they become very excited,” says Adekoya Mufutau, technology coordinator at Corona Secondary School. “Skoool is very interactive, and students like it when the system responds to them. It keeps them working on the system for longer, and they learn more.”

The Nigerian Libraries pose an epitome of the “Digital divide”, in the digital era, digital access to information in a modern method, will obviously deliver modern results, as opposed to traditional or outdated results.

To paraphrase Bryson (1990): There is a gap that exists between traditional and modern methods of processing, storing, analyzing, retrieving, providing and using information in Nigerian libraries. The digital library (e-library) is a library that stored information electronically and made accessible to users through electronic systems and networks, but having no single physical location.

It is most important for all Article/Blog readers who wish to do their part in bridging the digital divide in Nigeria and indeed Africa, to get their local Librarians at home in Nigeria, to read this, contact us e-library@debonairtraining.com. They hold the master keys, they are the gatekeepers to modern literacy and the fantastic future of Nigerian children that are being produced at the current rate of 4 million per year.

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cybercrime

CYBER-SECURITY

All entrepreneurs and budding entrepreneurs who are not yet doing business online must in some level of a “Cyber security training course” regardless of the country you live in. You could be in America, and a computer network linked up in China, with hackers, with lead sponsors in Nigeria – stealing bank or credit card data from your mobile phone at any time. This also applies to companies, their directors, their employees, their customers and suppliers.

Essentially our interconnected global village also connects good for good results and bad for bad results. The advantages far outweigh the disadvantages, as long one has invested enough time and resources to protect their data and the access to it. The present issue dogging Hillary Clinton in her bid to become the first female US president is really about her seriousness in handling cyber-security. Wikileaks also revealed some details about President Goodluck Jonathan while he was in office. Debonair Training Security courses illuminates all the aspects of security to be considered from beginner to advanced level.

Unfortunately in Nigeria’s case, there is already a pervasive fraudulent image that hinders trust to start with, but simple investment in Security training and software, levels the playing field risk with the rest of the world Again a “Debonair Training basic security course” provides all of these. At the end of the modules you will have installed all the software to protect your adequately protect your business as with all our existing clients.

The array of cybercrimes include:

  • Identity theft and invasion of privacy.

  • Internet fraud.

  • ATM fraud.

  • Wire fraud.

  • File sharing and piracy.

  • Counterfeiting and forgery.

  • Child pornography.

  • Hacking.

  • Computer viruses.

  • Denial of service attacks.

  • Spam,

  • steganography

  • e-mail hacking.

  • Sabotage

  • Fake Online lottery,

  • Fake accreditation degrees,

  • Phishing,

  • online banking fraud,

  • Credit card fraud

digital spyThe list goes on, however, as in all crime, there is always the perpetual chase of the law close behind and eventual apprehension of criminals. This long list instead of scare honest entrepreneurs, we see this as an opportunity and a job creator for them. The internet world and its digital technology is here to stay and we have only just started exploring its potential globally, we are still only at stage WEB 2.0. As technology evolves so will the opportunities. The opportunities and profit growth curve will be higher in Nigeria and subsequently rest of Africa, because the digital divide is wider, and the precedence roadmap for policing cybercrime is already mapped out in Europe and America.

In a recent survey by “International Journal of Cognitive Research in Science, Engineering and Education International Journal of Cognitive Research in Science, Engineering and Education” focusing on APPROACH TO CYBER SECURITY ISSUES IN NIGERIA: CHALLENGES AND SOLUTION, they echo almost exactly Debonair’s digital security training points;;

Instances were studied such as- Elekwe, a chubby-faced 28-year-old man made a fortune through the scam after two years of joblessness despite having diploma in computer science. He was lured to Lagos from Umuahia by the chief of a fraud gang in a business center. He has three sleek cars and two houses from his exploits. In July 2001, four Nigerians suspected to be operating a “419” scam on the internet to dupe unsuspecting foreign investors in Ghana were arrested by security agencies. Their activities are believed to have led to the loss of several millions of foreign currencies by prospective investors. Two young men were recently arrested after making an online purchase of two laptops advertised by a woman on her website under false claims. They were arrested at the point of delivery by government officials. Mike Amadi was sentenced to 16 years imprisonment for setting up a website that offered juicy but phony procurement contracts. The man impersonated the EFCC Chairman, but he was caught by an undercover agent posing as an Italian businessman. The biggest international scam of all was committed by Amaka Anajemba who was sentenced to 2½ years in prison. She was equally ordered to return $25.5 million of the $242 million she helped to steal from a Brazilian bank.

 

Another recent internet scam case was reported on the Sunday PUNCH newspaper of July 16, 2006 involving a 24-year-old Yekini Labaika of Osun State origin in Nigeria and a 42-years-old nurse of American origin, by name Thumbelina Hinshaw, in search of a Muslim lover to marry. The young man deceived the victim by claiming to be an American Muslim by the name, Phillip Williams, working with an oil company in Nigeria and he promised to marry her. He devised dubious means to swindle $16,200 and lots of valuable materials from the victim. The scammer later was sentenced to a total of 19½ years having been found guilty of eight-counts against him. Incidences like these are on the increase. Several young men unabated are still carrying out these illegal acts successfully, ripping off credulous individuals and organizations.[8]  Recently, a report indicated that Nigeria is losing about $80 million yearly to software piracy. The report was the finding of a study conducted by Institute of Digital Communication, a market research and forecasting firm, based in South Africa, on behalf of Business Software Alliance of South Africa. The American National Fraud Information Centre reported Nigerian money offers as the fastest growing online scam, up to 90% in 2001. The Centre also ranked Nigerian cyber-crime impact per capita as being exceptionally high.[17]

Those involved are between 18-25 years mostly resident in the urban centers. The internet has help in modernizing fraudulent practices among the youths. Online fraud is seen as the popularly accepted means of economic sustenance by the youths involved. The corruption of the political leadership has enhanced the growth of internet crime subculture. The value placed on wealth accumulation has been a major factor in the involvement of youths in online fraud.[1]

At Debonair Training, the solution to cyber crime in our Training modules include at different levels:

  • General Data protection and hacking prevention habits and discipline

  • Education on potential abuse of data and cost

  • The law and intellectual property introduction

  • Location Verification

  • Identity verification

  • IP verification and tracking

  • Networking with CCTV monitoring system

  • Antivirus and Worms

  • Firewalls

  • Encryption and sensitive financial transaction guidelines plus added layered intrusion prevention software

In Nigeria, we have found that the most vulnerability could be in “Phishing”. Phishing is a method used to compromise the computers of and steal sensitive information from individuals by pretending to be an email from or the website of a trusted organization. For example, a person receives an email that appears to be from the recipient’s bank requesting that recipient verify certain information on a web form that mimics the bank’s website. However with the right training, a trained up person or organisation employee will not make themselves vulnerable to such cyber-crime and will have a layered protection system in place. For more information email securitycourses@debonairtraining.com

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PROFIT OPPORTUNITIES AND SUCCESS STORIES

THE WEALTH IN MOBILE DEVICES

There is an opportunity for all existing businesses who already have business websites, to upgrade them to web 2.0 and mobile device compliant, and at the same time include GOOGLE MAP. When Debonair Training optimises you for SEARCH ENGINES, it means customers can easily be guided to find you at your location and park their car in your designated car park. This gives you a competitive edge. At present Debonair Training installs mobile enabled sites with google map to our rapidly growing clientele of hoteliers as part of the package in managing their E-BUSINESS ACCOUNT. For the smaller businesses and restaurants or shops we offer the option of getting their chief I.T person TRAINED to either upgrade the company’s corporate website or to support the bespoke e-business solution we produce for the client. For more on this or a demo email mobile@debonairtraining.com

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WEALTH HIDDEN IN PLAIN VIEW

As mentioned earlier Debonair Training is currently capitalising on the market gap in the digital divide, in our well researched market share. There is so much untapped wealth simply because of unrecognised and non-aggregated data. Using our E-Business skill and experience we are partnering up with marketing and research organisations to populate our data warehouses in Nigeria with Nigerian information. Our partners already have experienced what we can do using Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Business Intelligence (BI) and Supply Chain Management (SCM) technologies. So if you are business analyst entrepreneur, a marketing and research executive or a call center director, looking for partners to tap into this wealth to chart Nigeria’s fantastic digital future, browse our digital and training portals or email directly now data_partnership@debonairtraining,com

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SUCCESS STORY OF JUMIA IN ECOMMERCE

The advent of e-commerce giants Jumia and Konga in the Nigerian space has also led to a dramatic opening in the industry calculated to be worth US$13 billion in 2018. Reduction in costs and access to large numbers of people are major reasons driving the establishment of more internet solutions and the shift from physical to online. Ultimately, success in this industry will largely depend on new innovations that guarantee comfort, ease, and fast feedback. Debonair Training is one of the few Tech companies seizing advantage of the current economic climate to provide bridges to profitable digital opportunities in Nigeria and for Nigerians in diaspora. For start ups that will be future Jumia’s. For more on our e-business campaign approach email campaigns@debonairtraining.com

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3 ways

POWER OF DIGITALLY GUIDED CAMPAIGNS AND REFORMING GOVERNANCE STEP BY STEP USING SOCIAL MEDIA AND VETTED PEER GROUPS

 

The recent election that brought President Buhari to power erased any doubt in the minds cynics who said what works in America doesn’t work in Nigeria or Africa It became very clear to all what a well thought out and persistent strategy influences.. I personally can testify to its power because i was right in the middle of it as a skilled digital technologist as well as digital warrior collaborating with a team of other warriors. Together we led a legion and flooded cyberspace with the message of change, and leading a team of other warriors we gallopped to victory.

We studied the tactics that a relatively unknown Senator from Illinois rose from obscurity to the White House and followed his CRM driven road map to deliver relatively similar success for a Nigerian state governor aspirant. The CRM driven road map is documented here:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=14K3vRKQ2fJw0lcJLXVk09wKaOy1Kqsq1ijwzSVFXjUs

Also how he rode to victory integrating 13 Million facebook fans to fuel his record breaking attended speeches, cum making it count at the ballot box:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=14fZK72zpQYlcAMxZFVCyUTmbb3OUbirRX1qe3nHgt3E

Now all these digital warriors coalesced due to our common theme groups on social media. This ability to coalesce in groups of like minds is the one remaining to power, to be really untapped to unleash Africa, and its already happening. This is the space Debonair Training is filling and scheduled to roll out innovative products soon with our global partners.

Another example of the power of social grouping in realworld pressing problem and solution that Debonair Training has taken the initiative on is MATCHMAKING. Upon doing our research, the market is a greenfield and FB Matchmaker is successfully matching clients, especially Nigerian ones www.fbmatchmaker.com

 

For more information on any part mentioned on “Nigerian business and digital technology, digital divide,security and fraud prevention” visit http://www..debonairtraining.com

 

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SOURCES:

https://digitalguardian.com/blog/phishing-attack-prevention-how-identify-avoid-phishing-scams

http://ijcrsee.com/index.php/ijcrsee/article/view/11/114

Nkanu, W. O. and Okon, Henry Itohowo, “Digital Divide: Bridging the Gap through ICT in Nigerian Libraries” (2010). Library Philosophy and Practice (e-journal). Paper 492. http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/libphilprac/492

https://asokoinsight.com/news/accenture-creates-digital-solutions-to-impact-businesses-nigeria

http://allafrica.com/stories/201503190877.html

Digital reality and the future of business in Nigeria

http://www.intel.co.uk/content/dam/doc/white-paper/learning-series-bridging-digital-divide-nigeria-paper.pdf

~ Gregory Ekhator (Digital Solutions Architect), Greg@debonairtraining.com

Debonair Training © 2016

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