Josh Okpata, Chief Executive Officer of Eazyhire, has told Technology Times Nigeria needs urgent action to address cybercrime following cyberattacks suffered by the online leasing start-up company.
[quote font=”georgia” font_size=”20″ font_style=”italic” align=”left” bgcolor=”#” color=”#” bcolor=”#” arrow=”yes”]Recounting his ordeal, Okpata adds that, “there was an agreement we had recently with a car company and they were supposed to send us some details and they sent it to this fraudster because he has hacked into our system.”[/quote]Okpata, developer of Eazyhire, a Nigerian start up company that provides users a platform to hire, lease or rent anything including aviation services, says cyber attacks now pose a major threat to the nation’s thriving start-up ecosystem.
The Nigeria technology startup scene is on the upswing with the entry of more players and incubators being launched but the Eazyhire CEO told Technology Times in an exclusive interview at the iDEA Hub in Yaba, Lagos that cybercrime is now a major obstacle to tech innovation in the country.
It was a very bitter Eazyhire CEO that disclosed to Technology Times that, “there is someone who is mirroring our business. We are ‘Eazyhire’ and the person decides that the best thing to do is to go and start a business called ‘Easyhire.’ He is ‘s’, we are ‘z.’ He is mirroring us on Facebook using our username, Twitter, Instagram and also using our company email.”
Recounting his ordeal, Okpata adds that, “there was an agreement we had recently with a car company and they were supposed to send us some details and they sent it to this fraudster because he has hacked into our system.”
According to the Eazyhire CEO, ”we are not going to change our name because of a fraudster because we are registered. We have trademarks, we have copyright legally and we have documents to this effect.”
He confirms that efforts are ongoing to ensure that the perpetrators “of this evil would be brought to book.”
According to the Eazyhire CEO, ”we are following this up from a legal perspective. We are about sending him a ‘cease and desist’ letter from our lawyer for him to drop the name. Also, we intend to follow it up from the media perspective so that we talk about challenges like this. I don’t have an issue with him doing what we are doing, but at least use another name.”
For Chidiebere Ezeani, co- Founder of Eazyhire, ”our vision is to be entrenched in your mind as the default synonym for hiring in Nigeria, then Africa and the rest of the world. Our dynamic vision is to have served one in every 10 people residing in Nigeria, at least once, by the year 2025.”
According to the Eazyhire CEO, “I am an Engineer by training. She is a Mass Communicator. She has been working in and out of Nigeria. I have also worked in and out of Nigeria. We resigned to come and pursue our goal”.
He says that his team is working tirelessly to be a major contender in the 2016 edition of DEMO Africa, a frontline event promoting the growth of Africa start-ups.
According to him, ”we are revamping our web application, that’s in preparation for DEMO 2016 . We are also working on improving our services so we can give our clients the best.”
But that is not all as he also says that, ”we are launching in Abuja by next week. We are also launching in Delta state as well before the end of Q2 2016. So these are the steps that we are taking.”
Commenting on the inexplicable support given to them by iDEA hub, the Information Technology(IT) developers entrepreneurship accelerator, Okpata’s of Eazyhire has this to say: ”We came in October last year, and trust me iDEA has been an awesome platform.”
Accordint o him, “they provide hands-on experience, mentorship network. They are even our clients as well. They give me access to people, prospective clients, and trust me, I know how many clients they have brought our way since we joined them here.”
”I know the exposure they have been giving us as a brand. They have been part of our success story so far. so without them, I am not sure we would have grown as fast as we have”, the Eazyhire CEO says.
Talking about the start-up company future growth, Okpata hopes that in the next five years, “Eazyhire will be in a minimum of 14 states across all six geo-political zones of Nigeria. Eazyhire will be in a minimum of three African states, either by franchise agreement or by direct involvement. Eazyhire will have a workforce of at least 80 people and 80% of them are going to be youths, really young people, if not 100%.”