A ‘digital revolution’ sparked off by rising mobile telephony and Internet community is opening frontiers for innovation and entrepreneurship in Nigeria, Mr Niyi Yusuf, Country MD of Accenture Nigeria has said at a tech event organised by the Nigeria Internet Registration Association of Nigeria, NIRA.
”A digital revolution has already started in Nigeria. Today, we have over 150 million phone subscribers; we have, as at December, 92 million Internet subscribers. So, 92 million Internet subscribers is by far greater than like 10 countries in West Africa combined”, the Country MD of Accenture Nigeria said weekend in an inspiring speech to attendees at a youth empowerment programme organized by the Nigeria Internet Registration Association, NIRA, as part of activities to mark its tenth anniversary.
The Accenture Nigeria MD told youth at the NIRA event that despite the challenges in Nigeria, the growing trend of technology growth in the country and other factors make the economy investments and innovation hotbed.
”It’s a huge population and that provides an ability for you to market your products to more than the people on the street. So, if you have a shop on the street, that shop is exposed to probably 1000 people that live on that street. But if you have a shop online, that shop is exposed to 92 million Nigerians potentially”, Yusuf told attendees at the NIRA event.[quote font=”georgia” font_size=”22″ font_style=”italic” align=”right” bgcolor=”#” color=”#” bcolor=”#” arrow=”yes”]”During 2014 Black Friday, Konga sold N600 million worth of goods within 24 hours, so within that month they would have sold more than N2 billion. That just tells you what is possible if you use technology to expose your product to a larger audience and there is over 200 million dollar investment on that sector”, the Country MD of Accenture Nigeria told the youth attendees at the NIRA forum.[/quote]
The Accenture Nigeria MD identified that e-commerce has now become the key driving innovation factor and Nigeria has been ranked the rising star of Africa’s fast-growing e-commerce sector. Nigeria’s e-economy is now topping all other African nations by number of Internet users and mobile phone owners, he added.
”We are seeing the boom of e-commerce which is technology- driven. In 2012, the market size was about 35 million dollars and by 2014 it grew to half a billion dollars and the forecast is that e-commerce market size of Nigeria will be more than 10 billion dollars by 2020”, according to Yusuf.
”So that’s a huge market and we are beginning to get a sense of that. In 2013, Konga was selling N100 million worth of stocks every month and this is a business opened by 2012 and in 2014 they sold a billion Naira worth of stock a month”, he added.
”During 2014 Black Friday, Konga sold N600 million worth of goods within 24 hours, so within that month they would have sold more than N2 billion. That just tells you what is possible if you use technology to expose your product to a larger audience and there is over 200 million dollar investment on that sector”, the Country MD of Accenture Nigeria told the youth attendees at the NIRA forum.
The Accenture Nigeria who further shared his thoughts on the Nigerian technology industry and entrepreneurship development, said that Nigeria has moved from an agrarian-based economy to an economy that is “now more of services.”
According to him, ICT account for about 10.4 percent of the entire economy, “so 10 percent of the economy is driven by technology, which makes it a major contributor to production and productive activities within the country.”
”Having said this, it is also notable that Nigeria is a difficult terrain to do business, so even though the prospects are exciting, the challenges are also tough” Yusuf told the forum.
The Accenture Nigeria MD said that, ”capital is the least of problems when you want to start a business. Unless you don’t have a good idea. If you have a good idea, there are always people who are willing to invest on that. If you want to start something that would be successful, try and partner with other people. If you check some of the businesses that I mentioned, most of them were started by two or three people. Attitude is everything, if you have a positive attitude and you are passionate about it, then you can equip yourself with knowledge.”
According to the Accenture Nigeria chief, technology has presented immense opportunities to the youths in Nigeria to excel, but they must first make themselves trustworthy and the venture capitalists will come to them with funding.
Also speaking at the event, Mr Pascal Dike, Global President of Junior Chamber International (JCI ) has challenged Nigerian youth to take leadership role in addressing the concerns of their immediate environment and act as pioneers in its transformation.
Dike, the first Nigeria to be elected the JCI World President underscores the need for Nigeria youth to take necessary step to see their dreams becomes reality noting that they assume responsibilities to contribute effectively to shaping the new world order.
“There is a clear need for young business people to step forward with specific ideas and go ahead and just do it” Mr Dike told attendees at the .ng wealth creation and youth empowerment program organizes by NIRA to mark its tenth anniversary.
He noted that the youths of today are invaluable resource for development and is critical to the transformation of the global social, economic and political landscape.
According to Dike, ”the global community is becoming increasingly aware that solutions to our global challenges must engage youth at all levels.”
”You will need an idea for a business before you do anything else. This should be something you are passionate about, since your new business will consume a great deal of your time and money”.
He also challenge the youth to come up with business ideas that would meet people’s need that isn’t provided in their area, or which you can provide better than anyone else.
”We need to start to think out of the box to come out with great ideas and innovations so we become relevant in our environment, country and the world at large”, he said.
”Before going too far, think about how plausible your idea is. Is it something that people would actually pay for? Will it turn enough of a profit to be worth spending your time to do it?
Whatever your idea is, be sure it’s as unique as possible. This will help you eliminate or significantly combat competition, which will make your business more successful”, he adds.
In his welcome address, Reverend Sunday Folayan, President of NIRA said the body recognises the importance of the Nigerian youth in the scheme of activities and opportunities that abound in the information technology sector. That is why NIRA decided to expose the youths to these opportunities by hosting the youth empowerment programme, he said.
According to the NIRA President, ”the DNS industry is a revenue generator with abundant business opportunities in the .ng domain name industry. The opportunities are vast, they are employment opportunities, opportunities using the .ng brand, promoting Nigeria local contents, give visibility to Nigerian products and services online.”
He said that, ”Nigerian youths must take the abundant opportunities to be employers of labour and not white collar jobs seekers. There are abundant opportunities in the DNS industry. As a youth, you could become an applications developer, a content developer, website designer or .ng reseller.”