Monday, 18 July 2011

Nigeria, your business and the social media buzz

Nigeria, your business and the social media buzz
As at March 2011, The internet world stats puts the number of Nigerian facebook users at almost 3 million (2,991,200), and in a country with an estimated 44 million internet users, a facebook penetration rate of 1.9%, an ever increasing number of bloggers, twitter users, many professionals joining LinkedIn and the enthusiasm of the Nigerian social media about Google+, Nigerian marketers cannot ignore this sector for much longer.
At the moment we have a few Nigerian entrepreneurs advertising their products on facebook, but mostly these are small & young entrepreneurs who are active on facebook personally, very few Nigerian businesses really make use of social media, a visit to many facebook or twitter pages for Nigerian business shows no recent activities and few connections.
Social media and your business
Many Nigerian professionals still view social media as an individual thing, and a sort of playground, however I have found social media to be a place for interaction, and when businesses start to view it this way they start to see a need for an integrated campaign tailored towards a select set of people within the social media circle. Here are a few pointers for business owners looking to take advantage of Nigeria’s social media space below:
1.       Define your aims and objectives
There is a danger of joining the social media buzz and getting missing in the crowd, many businesses have joined social media without any clear terms on achievements and ways of measuring success. Be sure to have a clearly mapped out plan to put out your message and measure the success of your campaigns.
2.       Define your audience/targets
The social media world is so diverse; you meet all sorts of individuals and businesses there. It is important to define your target audience before you embark on the social media journey. It is important to define WHO, WHY and WHERE.
a.       Who do we want to network with?
b.      Why have we decided to network with these people?
c.       Where are these people? Are they on facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ etc?
3.       Interact with your targets
Interaction is key, when you get your targets you need to interact with them so as to keep them coming back.
a.       Entice your targets with an idea of what you have to offer – First impressions last the longest, so make sure you have a clear message to deliver on first visit, and clear idea of what you have to tell them.
b.      Have your ears to the ground – Social media users are usually very outspoken, listen, respond and engage them.
c.       Build custom applications – If you have a business that involves apps, build custom applications to suit your audience and whatever devices they use, an example is the SDL Free Translation facebook app -
d.      Practice what you preach – You want your targets to interact with you on facebook? There is a high likelihood many of your employees are on facebook already, let them join in the party, build a facebook group for your company where your employees can interact with each other, chances are many of them are already connected.
4.       Empower your company to do the job – Do not assume that anybody can be social media marketer, invest in employing someone with the necessary skills, or organise trainings for your current employees who have been selected to do the job
5.       Deal with legal and executive loopholes – Make sure to have your company’s legal team in the loop, and don’t forget the executives, they might just kick against all your hardwork, but if you have done most of the good work I have mentioned above and pitch it to them with clearly defined strategies, chances are that the executive will be willing to give you the green light.
In conclusion, I believe joining the social media world or not should not be complicated business, a simple analysis of your business processes and long term strategy is enough for you to make this decision. It is either good for you or not, the decision is yours, but there is certainly a large market out there to be poached.
Written by Ifeoluwa Adebayo

Saturday, 16 July 2011

The Cloud Revolution – An Opportunity for Africa

The Cloud Revolution – An Opportunity for Africa

Cloud computing basically means doing less with your computer and doing more in the cloud – on the internet. Organisations are jumping on the cloud train at a very fast rate. The cloud is moving in diverse ways, from cloud based apps like Google docs to Software as a Service (SaaS) applications like Sales Force.

Why Africa must embrace Cloud Computing:

·         Development of the private sector
Information technology has been a major factor in the growth of small firms in developing countries. However, most companies are impeded in their adoption of information technology to boost their work due to many reasons. Issues such as cost of hardware and software and lack of local availability of technology are some factors. If Africa wants to increase the acceleration of its growth, the private sector must embrace cloud computing the way mobile phones have been embraced.

Melissa Leon writes in her blog ( about how they help local leaders in Kenya use the cloud for improved efficiency and to safe guard against loss of data.


·         Current infrastructure – Mobile Cloud Computing
Looking at the current infrastructure for internet access in Africa, mobile platforms seem to be the preferred means available for online activities. As at 2008, the International Telecommunication Union stated that Africa had over 300 million mobile subscribers and as at 2009 David Smith of the Guardian predicted a rise of 550% in mobile users across Africa in 5 years. In Africa, the number of mobile users far outnumbers the number of internet users, therefore any business looking to go into the mobile cloud stands at an advantage as it will be easier to increase internet usage by providing needed services on mobile platforms which your clients are already used to.

As the internet revolution sweeps across Africa, the mobile cloud will likely be the first to kick off. It seems Kenya is taking the lead with companies like RedCloud Technologies coming up with solutions to improve the M-PESA money transfer mobile application so that micro-finance institutions can connect to M-PESA to deliver financial services simply and cheaply without queuing in the bank, using mobile money transfer.

Mobile banking and mobile money transfer are also becoming increasingly popular in Nigeria, with financial institutions delivering mobile applications to aid customers carry out transactions.

Will the mobile device be an important tool in the growth of cloud computing for Africa? It certainly will.

Online Security Infrastructure:
One major problem facing Africa in terms of computing and internet usage generally, is that of infrastructure. Without the required infrastructure, growth is impeded, when growth is impeded security becomes irrelevant as there is nothing to secure. This is why a company like Paypal will not do business with Nigerian based payment merchants. While we see companies like Pesapal ( in Kenya, East Africa and CashU ( in North Africa making massive inroads into the online payment industry, we find companies such as Etranzact ( in Nigeria, West Africa still not able to fully take control of the vast opportunities available to them.

The right infrastructure to make good and fast internet access affordable is necessary for cloud computing to take off fully in Africa. The mobile companies seem to be ahead in providing this service.

It is interesting to know that African Governments are beginning to pick an interest in this. The Rwandan Government recently hosted the 12th Forum on Telecommunication/ICT Regulation and Partnership in Africa in June 2011. We need more of such interests and activities from Governments in Africa.

Trust and Credibility:
The International Community has not fully embraced opportunities in cloud computing in Africa due to the fact there is very little trust base. A lot of people might argue against this point, but if you look at the number of companies ready to work with Kenya, with M-Pesa being initially sponsored by the UK-based Department for International Development (DFID) compared to those ready to work with countries always in the news for the bad reasons, then you will understand that IT services, including cloud computing has taken off much faster in places like Kenya due to a better trust base.
Multinational companies still prefer to open their computing centres in places like South Africa with a better trust base. IBM opened Africa’s first major cloud computing centre in South Africa in 2008.

Bigger African countries with huge potentials for profit must step up their game with government policies that provide conducive environments for companies to have enough faith in, to invest.
Secondly, local companies must seek cooperation with multinationals with proven track records, this gives them a voice and adds credibility to their services.

Gartner, an IT research and advisory firm,  forecasts that by 2012 industrialized utility and cloud-based services will account for at least 50 percent of the new demand for managed IT infrastructure services. The opportunity for African businesses and locals to fully join this cloud world is likely based on the widespread use of mobile and tablet devices on the continent. Businesses will do well to focus on mobile cloud options in the interim, to enable them reach a wider audience and therefore have more impact. This is an opportunity for Africa, we do not have to wait for the infrastructure which we lack, we can simple harness the potentials of the mobile cloud, and get almost all the advantages of cloud computing.

Written by Ifeoluwa Adebayo

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Ecommerce – Nigerian goldmine?

Ecommerce – Nigerian goldmine?
Electronic commerce, normally called ecommerce, is the buying and selling of goods and services over electronic systems such as the internet.

Oluniyi Ajao in his blog post titled ‘E-commerce in Nigeria: We’re back to the stone age!’ pointed some of the major factors militating against the take-off of ecommerce in Nigeria, internet fraud, poor security by card issuers and e-commerce website owners, poor communication between card issuers and card owners, he rounded up by saying “The Interswitch system needs to be thoroughly revamped. The system must necessarily come with advanced security features

As a developing economy, the importance of e-commerce to the growth of Nigeria’s economy cannot be over emphasized. As more Nigerians use the internet, we will see more ecommerce activities pop up. Many countries such as Thailand, China, the US and Britain have continuously focused on the internet as a major aspect for growth and development, Research News Daily in an article titled “How e-Commerce is transforming Britain’s Economy”  analysed Google’s ecommerce research report which put the UK’s ecommerce to be in excess of £100bn a year, the research also found that the internet accounts for 7.2% of Britain’s GDP, meaning that If the internet was a separate economic sector it would be the UK’s fifth largest producer of income.

Internet Usage
The Goldman Sachs 7th Annual Consumer Behaviour survey conducted in 2009 found that global e-commerce spending increased by 2% and number of buyers increased by 12%, mobile e-commerce was found to be an area of opportunity, as shopping was found to be one of the most important factors for site selection, ranking 4th in terms of priority with almost 50% of respondents saying they will like an experience similar to what obtains on their pc on mobile especially with two ecommerce giants, eBay and Amazon.

Nigerians have increasingly embraced the use of the internet, even the president now has a facebook fan page, Nigerian youths which make up a large percentage of the population have increasingly embraced the internet, this trend is mainly due to the availability of the internet via mobile devices. The Internet World Stats ( estimates that as at December 2009 Nigeria had 23,982,200 internet users , about 16.1% of the population of about 149,229,090 (Census Bureau population stats).

However, the use of home broadband internet is still not fully embraced as most options are expensive, slow and unreliable, most people prefer to stick to their mobile devices since it offers mobility, it is cheap and it is comparatively reliable. Nevertheless, the acceptability of e-commerce is Nigeria is still very low. Most people lack the trust in the security of online applications, and there is even a dearth of options, very few platforms available for you to shop, as most Nigerian cards are not acceptable for shopping on international websites due to fear of fraud, I have even seen products for sale on eBay that clearly state ‘I WILL NOT SHIP TO NIGERIA SO DO NOT ASK’.

It is important to point out though, that significant consolidation has occurred in Nigeria’s Internet and broadband sector, the second international submarine fibre-optic cable (Glo-1), launched in 2009 broke the monopoly of Nitel’s SAT-3/WASC cable and is revolutionising the market. This might see use of home broadband internet increase rapidly in the very near future.

The role of government
The speed, the quality, the reliability and the cost of the internet are very important factors that can either enhance or obstruct progress of ecommerce. The Nigerian government should take more responsibility in providing necessary infrastructure for the proper enablement of internet technologies in Nigeria.

The American government, for example, “aims at the provision of on-line services to the majority of American households not only through desktop computers connecting to the Internet but also through devices such as television, cellular phones and portable digital assistants” (US Department of Commerce,1998), the government realises that ecommerce is essential to the growth of its economy.

Nigerian SMEs and Ecommerce
China SMEs E-Commerce Development Report (2009) indicated that in 2009, Chinese SME’s newly increased value from e-commerce accounted for 1.5 percent of China GDP, raking in up to 1.99 trillion Yuan, a comparative growth rate of about 20 percent, creating over 1.3 million new employments in 2008. In a nation like Nigeria with over 150million people, the opportunities are immense, so why are SMEs not embracing ecommerce? Could it be because:
  1. There are no strong SMEs – We currently do not have the brand awareness big enough for the SMEs, there is no single Nigerian supermarket with a national identity and recognition.
  2. Diversity of products - There is no Nigerian products store with the diversity of products strong enough to pull through a strong ecommerce presence, it could even be one product, but with enough diversity and market base to pull customers.
  3. Good mobile internet platforms – Even Amazon and eBay are still struggling to get it right when it comes to presenting good user experience for customers on mobile platforms.
  4. Trust – Users do not trust the security of the systems enough to put in their card details online there are still many sceptics.
However, taking the case of the airline industry as a pointer, you can argue that given the platform and availability, Nigerians will quickly embrace ecommerce, as many people now buy their local flight tickets online instead of going to join long queues at airports and ticketing offices.

What do Nigerian customers want in order to embrace ecommerce? Nothing out of the ordinary, consistent, reliable, and easy-to-use internet service, secure platforms to carry out ecommerce activities, good ecommerce applications that give good user experience, ease of use and ease of product  selection. With the speed at which Nigerians have embraced mobile devices like blackberries, ipads, and iphones, I see a huge market, untapped, and virgin, who will be bold enough to take it?

The way forward?
  1. The government needs to get more involved in the growth of the internet in Nigeria, no amount invested is too much, the opportunities are immense and almost unlimited.
  2. The SMEs need to take the bold step and start venturing into this almost barren land, there are loads of opportunities to take advantage of, and I bet the first few who take the bold steps will reap bountifully.
  3. Awareness must be increased, telecommunications companies can take the front row in this regard, pushing out information to users, working in partnership with ecommerce website owners and the government to form partnerships.
  4. SMEs should start outsourcing some of their services to ecommerce providers, stores like shoprite, park n shop, and game can outsource their online sales to companies like PerrySolution ( currently give their customers the opportunity to buy from USA and ship to Nigeria.
  5. International cooperation with bigger ecommerce giants in Europe and America.
  6. The banks need to step up their game, and provide secure and efficient means for funds transfer, an awareness campaign to increase confidence in card online usage should also be aggressively embarked on.

Written by Ifeoluwa Adebayo

Small Medium Developing E-Commerce Pulled GDP Growth of China -

Sunday, 8 November 2009

The Nigerian Mandate

The Nigerian Mandate

I woke up this morning and I stretched out my feet, said a thank you prayer then I brushed up my teeth, a little exercise then I grabbed something to eat… as I ate I started to reminisce… on this great country Nigeria.. and wondered when we will start fighting for ‘The Nigerian Mandate.’

Talking of mandates, I have heard a lot about the Niger Delta clamour for resource control, the marginalisation of the Igbos, the educational deprivation of the North, the stolen political posts of the Yorubas… but I have heard very little about ‘The Nigerian Mandate’.
What do I call The Nigerian Mandate, a mandate that enables Nigerians, rich or poor, young or old, northerner, easterner or southerner, to have access to basic amenities such as good education, good roads, constant power supply, good drinking water, effective health care systems, general safety (effective police force), just to mention a few.

The Nigerian Mandate, a mandate that gives the Nigerian Niger Delta control over their resources, a mandate that encourages the North to go back to agriculture and mining, where northerners realise education is a necessity and not a burden, a mandate which allows the Yorubas to continue churning out professors and building good educational and agricultural systems, a mandate that builds a new African IT and Financial capital in Nigerian Yoruba land. A mandate that turns Aba into the mechanical engineering capital of Africa, where Nigerian made cars are built in Igbo land and exported all over the world, where clothing, shoes and electronic factories drive an economically vibrant eastern Nigeria. A mandate that sees the Nigerian South-South region investing wealth gotten from oil in green technologies and sea farming. This is what I call The Nigerian mandate.

This mandate has been stolen from us, and as Dapo Lam Adeshina stated in his Political Declaration Speech (October 25th 2009, Dapo Lam Adeshina for House of Reps on the Action Congress Platform, Lecture Titled: Youths Participation in Nigerian Politics: How Visible?) “To those enemies of an egalitarian and new Nigeria, The end has come, We shall defeat you.”

These thieves are amongst us, we see them riding their cars from ill-gotten wealth, they are glorified by the press, they are guarded by our police. And as Dapo stated further in his speech

‘'Nigerian youths, we must rise up now and save our future. The present crop of leaders must be made to realise it is our future they are toying with. We must end this visionless tenure by 2011 with our votes.'’
“We must reclaim the true meaning of citizenship, restore our sense of common purpose and realise that the few obstacles cannot withstand the power of millions of voices calling for change. Divided we are bound to fail.”
“Now is the time for us all to forget our differences, sheathe the swords, call back the warriors, end the war and face our enemies, the enemies of progress, the enemies of our future, and the enemies of our dear country, Nigeria.”

I say to all Nigerians, the time is now, we cannot afford to wait any longer, The labours of our heroes past (Nnamdi Azikwe, Tafawa Balewa, Obafemi Awolowo, Ken Saro-Wiwa etc) MUST not, and WILL not be in vain. Let us rise up and fight for a new Nigeria, let our votes count, let us get involved in this new Nigeria, wherever you are, whatever your tribe or religion, it is time to act, we must strive to leave a legacy for generations yet unborn, we must put a stop to the politics of greed and stupidity, the politics of personal enrichment and impoverishment of the masses, the silly politics of giving fish to the masses instead of creating an environment that enables them to fish for themselves. The politics of deceit, politics of enslaving your own people, politics of militancy and kidnapping, politics of ASUU strikes, politics of office holders using our money for personal gains, politics of thuggery, politics of personal ego, politics of flexing financial muscles… we say… the time has come… and all this has to come to an end.

I implore you to join me, join the youth of this great nation in this fight, the fight for a greater Nigeria, the fight for the future of a nation and the survival of a people, for if we do not rise now… we will have failed the generations yet unborn, just as the generations before failed us.

Long Live the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Religion - A part of the Nigerian problem

Religion – A major part of the Nigerian Problem

Firstly,. I will like to state that I am a very religious Christian who believes that Christ died for the sins of the world and I believe in the full existence of God and creation. Everything written in this write-up are strictly my views and do not project the views of any other persons or group of persons. That said, let’s get realistic:

After many years of aching and soul searching, I have come to the conclusion that religion is one of greatest enemies of our dear country Nigeria. I have been to a few African and European countries, and read/heard a lot about American countries, in all my observations, I have come to the realisation that God never builds a Nation, the people of a Nation build the Nation themselves. It is however sad to note that in the past (at the least) 25 years, Nigeria has not had a leader whose name is written in the sands of time, a leader whose good deeds live on after him, what we have had is a bunch of irresponsible people, and in many cases touts, leading our Nation.

Where then does the blame lie? At the feet of these leaders many will say, but I choose to differ. I lay the blame at the feet of the generations past, our fathers and grandfathers. They refused to pay the price, that would have ensured a better future for our generation, the usual saying: “politics is a dirty game, don’t get involved’, the Government doesn’t provide electricity, buy a generator, the government doesn’t provide water, dig a borehole and pump your water, the government doesn’t build good roads, buy a 4-runner jeep.. and so.. we are where we are today, if the generations past had called the government to question, stood up to get their rights, if they stood up for a right to quality education, we wouldn’t need to go abroad to get quality education, if they stood up for good roads, good health facilities, electricity etc, we wouldn’t be where we are today. It is a shame that a country like Nigeria, with its vast wealth, still cannot provide basic amenities to its citizens.

But most of all, if they didn’t always rely on God, we wouldn’t be where we are today. The average Nigerian, knows the roads aren’t good, so we PRAY for safe journey, we know our generator can always malfunction and lead to a fire outbreak, so we pray for Gods protection on our house, we know there are many jobless youths who are into armed robbery, we pray for protection against thieves, for miraculous visas to get out of the country, for a miraculous job because job opportunities are few, even the few that are available we cannot get because we lack the needed education to do the job, and most annoying of all, instead of going out to vote and make sure our voices are heard, we pray for God to put the right person there. Where has this sole reliance on religion gotten us to... NOWHERE.

This generation, my generation, cannot afford to fail the generations to come, we have to start facing reality now, we have to stand up and let our voices be heard, we have to start going out to vote, making our views known, speaking out against irresponsible governance, getting involved in politics and running for political positions, we have to stop waiting for God to put the right person in Government, or for God to protect against thieves, we have to start asking questions of our leaders, we should make use of tweeter, facebook, YouTube, MySpace etc, not just for the quizzes and fun, but for making our voices heard, we should come together as one body, with one voice, setting aside our differences, religion and tribal sentiments, and forging a common front against this scoundrels that have eaten deep into our nations coffers, it is high time we put an end to this.

It will not be done in one day, neither will it be an easy road, but surely we will get there with perseverance. If we do not take a stand now, our children will lay the blame right at our feet. We have to reject the status quo, and start insisting things run how they are supposed to run.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

The Nigerian Niger Delta

I personally think the issue of MEND has gone beyond the liberation of the Niger Delta, that might have been the initial idea, but even these militants have now been infiltrated by greedy people, if not so, why havent they used all the millions payed to them for ransom of hostages to start developmental projects in their regions, they get this money and buy jeeps cruising round portharcourt, oil companies pay these boys on a regular basis to stop them from causing damage, what have they done to help their people with all these millions
Why kidnap a foreigner and ask for 10million naria, why not kidnap a foreigner and let the government know the foreigner wont be released until 100km of roads are constructed, or until the government gets new primary school teachers to the region, or until the government equips a failing hospital. There are many ways these boys can show that they are fighting for their people, but instead they are just enriching themselves.
We also still have many politicians who are gaining everyday from the unrest in the Niger Delta... so the probelm in that region is still far from over. I think the government needs to realise that there are people in the Niger Delta who dont have food to eat, dont have drinkable water, cant send their kids to school etc, the government should focus on these people, provide schools, build roads, encourage investments in the region to create jobs, and when we have good roads, electricity, schools, hospitals and other basic necessities of live in the region, we will hear what the mend will have to say they are fighting for.
Meanwhile, the focus of the world is gradually shifting from oil, even though it will take years, the world is beginning to look at other options, Nigeria should start to focus more on developing a stable and sustainable economy which is independent of oil just like the Government of UAE is doing, Nigeria should start investing basically in agrculture, if our agricultural facilities are well managed, Nigeria can feed its people and feed other african countries. There is a global food shortage, this is the time for Nigeria to make billions from exportation of food, we have the land, we have the right weather, we have the man-power, we have the brains... what do we lack.. a GOVERNMENT WITH VISION.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

The Woman I know

The Woman I know

“Ti mo ba gba oju e, a ri bi eni wipe trailer koja ni ara e ni” (If I slap you, you’ll think you got hit by a Lorry), at this time the nearest shoe might be flying your way if you are too far away to be hand hit… “I need some money, want to buy new clothes”… “I’ll give you some money tomorrow, and extra for you to buy shoes, but make sure you don’t tell your father”… She is like that, my mother, strict, yet adorably loving, quick to reprimand, but even quicker to shower you with love. That’s the woman I know.

Me (5pm):” Mum, I’m coming home with 5 friends after lectures, we’ll be there in 10mins, is there food?”, Ibk (11pm): “Iya, I have been studying all day and I am hungry, I have 3 friends with me, can you bring me some food in school?”, Ireti (2pm): “Maama, ebi n pa mi o, ki ni owa nile?”, Dad (12noon): “Dear, some visitors just called me, they’ll be here in 15mins, is there anything prepared for refreshments?”… We all get similar answers, “Pele omo mi, ounje wa”, “Yes dear, I will prepare something for them immediately”… That’s the woman I know.

The woman I know, ever ready to help, taking up responsibility for the feeding and education of many people at the school of the handicap, a Woman with so much Love for God she takes time out of her busy schedule to be involved in Christian dramas and many other evangelistic activities. Through her, I have come to have many brothers and sisters, many of whom automatically became her children, because she put herself in the position of a mother, I particular remember Jewel Eni, this pretty & cute niece of mine whom I call my sweetheart, when she was a few months old, her mum (one of my new sisters) had to travel, and brought the kid to my mum, I remember my mum taking this girl everywhere she went, staying up all night when this girl fell ill, I remember driving them to the hospital and staying there till well over midnight to see a doctor, and she did all this with a smile, never expecting anything back. That is the woman I know.

“Have you called baba Tope?”, “No”, “Make sure you call him, it’s a kid that should call an adult when they have misunderstandings”… 2 weeks later… “You still haven’t called baba Tope?”, “Mum, I have no reason to call him” “Well, I think you should call him, I believe the two of you just don’t understand each other”… That’s the woman I know, loves her siblings so much she would never admit they are wrong, even when she knows they are she would come up with some sort of excuse for them, always ready to do anything for them, and including them in her prayers every night.

Its 6am, I am just getting out of bed, and she is gone, gone to work, comes back at 2pm, and by 3pm is on her way out, “where are you going mum?”, “I am going to see Iya Ayo” or “I am going to see Iya Afolayan”, or Toyin, or Ayobami, all these many people, that she held so dear to her, and she took as one of her own, these people that have become a part of me too, and have become family.
The woman I know… is loved by all, a true model of a mother, what more could I ask for in a mother… nothing more. The woman who lovingly, sacrificially, and strictly raised her children, today, she can beat her chest and say she did well, today she can look upon us and smile, knowing God has blessed her hard work. Mrs Elizabeth Kehinde Adebayo, May God bless you and may you live long to eat the fruits of your labor.

Do you think I’m through.. If you have read this far, then you know a little about the woman I know.. but I could go on for ages and can’t write everything in one piece, so, stay tuned… there’s still more to come, about this woman I know and I love soooo much.