How e-Commerce can lift Nigeria’s economy, by Anammah

How e-Commerce can lift Nigeria’s economy, by Anammah

Chief Executive Officer of Jumia, Nigeria, Juliet Anammah

Chief Executive Officer of Jumia, Nigeria’s leading online shopping platform, Juliet Anammah, cut her teethin corporate management at May & Baker Plc where she worked for eight years. Her experience in strategic management at Accenture equally molded her for the challenging task of ensuring that Jumia succeeds in Nigeria. In this interview, Anammah talks about the challenges of playing in Nigeria’s e-commerce industry, new projects that her organisation is planning to implement and areas where she expects that government intervention will ensure that e-commerce contributes remarkably to the growth of Nigeria’s economy. ADEYEMI ADEPETUN reports.

Can you briefly tell us about Jumia’s history in Nigeria?
Jumia first started in Nigeria started in 2012. At that time e-commerce did not exist in the form it is today. We had just one hub to serve all the customers in Nigeria. We celebrated our fourth anniversary in April this year and when you look back you will notice that the company has grown remarkably. Today you talk about a site with over nine million visitors per month and over 5,000 active members on our market list. Today the number of SKUs a customer can choose format any time is about fifty thousand, so we are talking about a significant and remarkable pace of growth.

On the back of that has been our ability to innovate and adjust to the business environment. When we started there was limited trust in e-commerce, but we were able to bridge those gaps by offering payment solutions that influenced public perception in a very positive way. Now people know that if you order from Jumia it will surely come and the trust level is much higher now than it was when we started. Indeed it has been a tremendous time for Jumia and we are looking forward to many more exciting years ahead.

What were the main challenges you experienced building up this brand in the last four years?
The area we are having huge challenges is logistics- last mile logistics. Last mile logistics can be broken down to a phone you package and send to a customer. Not many logistics providers were doing that in the market. So we had to create a company called AIGX, now called Jumia Services basically to bridge that gap. So those places where existing logistics companies could not cover, we had to take on the challenge. Besides, almost all existing logistics service providers were not configured to collect cash on delivery since they were operating with a pre-paid mindset so we had no option but to step in.

Another challenge we have is educating the vendors to internalise the tenets of e-commerce. It took a lot of time to make vendors understand that when a promise is made, we will deliver this order in four days, it must be kept. No vendor should say he is going on holiday, leave, vacation or ‘I did not see it on time.’ This underlines the importance of shipping within 24 hours. We also had to stress the importance of specifications. If a customer saw and selected a blue shirt, you cannot pick or ship a green one. It really took us a while to train and give vendors the desired orientation that will make things flow at our desired level.

How is jumia managing the intense competition in the sector?
If you take a country like the United States of America, a square metre of retail space takes care of3.89 persons while in Nigeria it is about 60,000 people. So you can see the huge gap between the numbers of people who want to shop online versus the number of outlets available. Clearly the opportunities and the population are here. How we can ensure that we remain competitive? It boils down to customer satisfaction. In all the markets I have worked in, one primary goal for success has been clear value proposition and delivery for consumers. The fact is, no matter what happens, it is the customer who decides whether to shop with Jumia or at the open market. So our concentration is to make the buying experience at Jumia as simple, enjoyable and effortless as possible.

If we do that, the customer will continuously agree that it’s in his interest to shop at Jumia. That is why we unveiled the smart shopper campaign to tell everyone that it is smart to shop on Jumia. There is convenience, wider support and quality assurance. These are the things that matter as far as brand survival and growth is concerned. If you focus your strength on delivering these, you will continue to lead the market.

What specific things do you feel stakeholders like the government; regulators can do to grow the e-commerce sector in Nigeria?
The things that could be done are pretty straightforward and seemingly simple. Take Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) for instance. In most countries, the public national postal service like NIPOST serves as the biggest logistics partner in e-commerce because they are in every city. If NIPOST was working efficiently – which I believe government can do with some determination -We would not need to invest at all in logistics. I would only get a warehouse, assemble my products and get them to the nearest NIPOST office where consumers can pick their items. With this, the cost of distribution or delivery for the consumer will be grossly reduced.

The entire infrastructure network really affects our vendors mainly. Apart from Lagos, other ports in Port Harcourt and Calabar are not functional. If those ports were functional, everyone will not be shipping through Lagos. We are now compelled to serve our customers in Benue or Yobe State from Lagos inventory. If those ports were functional and with Calabar – Ogoja- Northern road functional, we can reduced the period of delivery from four to two days. All these are linked to infrastructure – seaport, road and rail network and all these things are what government can do.

The third thing is related to the foreign exchange market. The foreign exchange market requires certainty especially for foreign investors, importers and exporters. They must be sure that this is the rate and it is applicable to everyone so if they want to source from the market they can be sure of the process to follow. It’s one thing to liberalise the foreign exchange market and another to build certainty into the process of liberalisation. This will help the average manufacturer and vendor who need raw materials to produce goods they can sell online. There are really many other things government can do but these are certainly the urgent ones.

What are those unique qualities that have helped your company gain so much popularity and acceptance among consumers in the Nigerian market in just four years?
I think it is the fact that we do a lot consumer engagement. We also build programmes and campaigns, what we call our tier-one events, that draw a lot of traffic, a lot of excitement in the market. In June we had our mobile week campaign. This is a whole week that customers can purchase various brands of phones at discounted prices. In November we will have our usual black Friday. These kinds of activities that drive a lot interest and excitement have helped to build the brand equity we have in our kitty. We also have a lot of creative online and offline marketing activities and investments that are unique. All these combined with the exciting memorable experience they have in every encounter with us have helped to build great brand recognition for us in the market.

With this level of success have you thought about giving back to the Nigerian society in form of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)?
You know, when it comes to that, a four-year-old has not reached the point of legacy of “giving back”. We are still pretty young in this game. Nonetheless, there are a number of things we are doing. We have what we call ‘Jumia Local’ which we are launching soon. We want to try and gather local manufacturers and assemblers to provide them quality visibility on our platform. We have seen that no single manufacturer can attract the number of customers that come to site on a daily basis. So we will showcase them to a huge prospective market.

We will not just stop there. We will consciously use our resources to promote local products that can serve as good alternatives to imported ones. Everyday I discover that we have so many quality local brands with good prices, but they lack capital and capacity to expand. These are the products we are targeting. I believe this will give small and medium scale businesses in Nigeria a reason to smile when we start this programme. We also have what we call the ‘J-force’ where we give citizens with no capital the opportunity to function principally as independent sales consultants, with attractive commissions, flexible hours of work and regular free training. They run their own businesses, manage their teams, work at their pace and earn unlimited income.

Are you saying that the young fashion designer down the road can display her products on Jumia platform free of charge?
Yes, she can. If we look at what she produces and give her guidance on the type of assortment that customers online want, these are the styles and the way to take the pictures and upload them, this is the way you can manage your stuff to make sure that you can deliver them on time when customers make orders, yes she can come on board. And this will be with zero commission. Commission will be charged only when they move up from the small or medium scale level.

Are you doing anything with Government?
No yet. But there are some things in the pipeline, particularly around made-in-Nigeria promotions to support local manufacturing. We are planning to start up a partnership in this area with a government agency. We are also working on what we call ‘Jumia Village.’ This is an extension of the concept of providing opportunities for those with limited online access. We will be providing experience centres in universities; small communities and distant locations so that anyone without immediate online access can go into a centre, sign in, book hotels, buy on Jumia and transact business online.

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635m people in Nigeria, South Africa,  SSA yet to get mobile services

635m people in Nigeria, South Africa, SSA yet to get mobile services

Nigerian making a call, PHOTO: AFP

• Internet to account for $300b of continent’s yearly GDP by 2025.

Of a total population of 1.2 billion currently in Africa, only 565 million, about 47 per cent are using mobile services, while the remaining 635 million people are missing in the continent’s connectivity radar.

While it has been discovered that deeper Internet penetration on the continent can add about $300 billion to the GDP in nine years time, Africa still lags behind in Internet adoption with only 303 million people, about 25 per cent of the region’s population) accessing the it via mobile.

According to the Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA), in a new report titled: Connected Society: Consumer barriers to mobile Internet adoption in Africa, a copy obtained by The Guardian, the association, which represents the interest of mobile operators worldwide, uniting nearly 800 operators with more than 250 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset and device makers, software companies, equipment providers and Internet companies, said Internet adoption rates are noticeably weaker in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), where mobile penetration is just 43 per cent and mobile Internet penetration just 23 per cent.

According to the report, which surveyed data from 13 countries in Africa, including Algeria, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa and Tanzania, disclosed that an important part of the mobile Internet connectivity issue in Africa is low network coverage, which averages just 50 per cent of the population for 3G (compared to a global average of 78 per cent).

It stressed that the challenging terrain and low population densities work against commercially viable expansion into rural areas. But demand-side issues also need to be addressed.

This research examined why 457 million people in the region could potentially access the Internet via mobile, as they are covered by 3G networks, but are holding back from doing so.

The report identified three key barriers to Internet adoption in the region. These include: lack of awareness and locally relevant content; lack of digital skills and affordability.

According to it, the lack of awareness was identified as the biggest barrier (58 per cent of respondents) in North Africa, particularly in Egypt. It was the second biggest barrier (36 per cent of respondents) in SSA, and a particularly important issue in Cameroon, DRC, Nigeria and South Africa.

Lack of digital skills was however, identified as the biggest barrier by respondents in SSA (38 per cent of them), particularly in Ethiopia, Tanzania and Sierra Leone. It also accounted for the second most important barrier in North Africa (39 per cent of respondents).

In terms of affordability, the report said despite the fact that Africa has the lowest income per capita of any region; affordability was only identified as the most important barrier in one out of 13 markets in the survey. Overall it was cited as a barrier by 36 per cent of respondents in North Africa and 29 per cent in SSA.

Through the survey, which involved face-to-face interviews with approximately 1,000 people in each country, GSMA noted that providing access to the Internet can have a positive socio-economic impact. It stressed that the Internet could account for up to $300 billion of Africa’s yearly GDP by 2025.

However, to reach this goal, it pointed out that effective collaboration
between governments, mobile operators and the development community to overcome these barriers to digital inclusion is required.

GSMA stressed that governments can play a role by developing a local content ecosystem, incorporating ICT skills into the education curriculum for all age groups, and ensuring that taxation on mobile services does not impact their affordability.

According to it, mobile operators and other ecosystem players should support the creation of an entrepreneurship ecosystem, work to make mobile services more affordable, and use their networks to increase awareness of the benefits of the internet and promote gender equality in access and usage.

GSMA, which pointed out that a significant gender gap exists in Internet usage: women have far lower access to the Internet than men across the continent, said that network coverage was not perceived as an issue in most countries, reflecting the increasing availability of mobile networks. However, mobile broadband (3G or 4G) coverage remains low in most parts of Africa.

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MTN to provide serviceable phones

MTN to provide serviceable phones


Some MTN mobile telephone subscribers in Abia State are unhappy with the company for introducing and selling to them two customised MTN handsets, which the company said are tagged 620 and 720 smart phones.

The subscribers are irked that they cannot replace the batteries of the two handset brands whose batteries, according to them, could not be replaced when they died after purchase from the MTN, said to be the sole seller.

No less than 19 of such subscribers told The Guardian that all the efforts they made to replace the failed batteries of the two handset brands have been unsuccessful even when they visited the MTN Aba and Umuahia offices to buy their replacements.

According to one of the subscribers, who gave his name as, John Oke, a student of one of the universities in the state, he was told at the MTN office that he cannot be assisted and that he was not the only person inquiring for the battery.

He said that one of the MTN workers, seeing the rage in him and his helplessness, told the worker he cannot as a poor student, afford to buy another handset, had to call MTN Office in Port Harcourt, to inquire if there was stock of the batteries.

Response from the Port Harcourt office according to him did not differ from what he was told earlier. “I was now forced to go to Aba where I was told at the Saint Michael Road Computer/Phone Village that the batteries were not available because the two handset brands were introduced and sold solely by the MTN, and blamed companies and individuals who import telephones without making the spare parts available”.

However, a lucky subscriber was assisted with a battery by another MTN worker whose handset had spoilt long ago but whose battery was still active. “The kind worker, in sympathy, had to give me the battery of his spoilt handset free of charge, and this has been working fine. I thanked and prayed for him, otherwise there was nothing else to do than to discard the handset.”

Querying MTN for this seeming ripping off of its subscribers by selling them handsets whose batteries cannot be replaced, one subscriber, who gave his name, as ‘Justice’ told The Guardian he decided to buy the handset directly from the MTN, believing that if it developed any problem , he would find the solution from the company. “Because the battery is dead, I cannot power on the phone to retrieve my contacts and data. Let us expect that MTN will read your report and advise affected subscribers on how to replace their batteries.”

It is disappointing according to him, that at this level of our development companies like the MTN still distribute products it duly customised without making provision for their serviceability.

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‘Nigeria is committed to 30 per cent broadband target’

‘Nigeria is committed to 30 per cent broadband target’

Garba Danbatta

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has stated that the country is committed to realising the 30 per cent broadband target, set for 2018.

Speaking at this year’s Nigeria ICT Impact CEO forum in Lagos, Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, speaking through the Public Affairs Director, Tony Ojobo, said there was need to focus on ICT, as against too much dependence on oil and gas to liberate the economy.

Danbatta assured that the commission will continue to herald the imperatives of ICT until the nation is sufficiently supplied with broadband to enable it achieve the triple As of Availability, Accessibility and Affordability in the alignment of the commission’s eight-point Agenda.

‘’Broadband deployment and penetration occupies the prime position of the agenda. The vision of our broadband pursuit is to provide and optimize access to and use of affordable fixed and mobile broadband everywhere in Nigeria. Our strategy to achieve this is to facilitate and support availability of broadband services by promoting deployments of universally available, fast and reliable network infrastructure that will stimulate seamless broadband penetration to drive technology innovations and, over- all productivity of the economy,’’ he stated.

Danbatta, who put the current broadband penetration in the country at 13 per cent, said the commission recognised that broadband has become a global benchmark for economic development and benefit of nations and states as, it is imperative that any nation that is serious with economic development must address the issue of availability of broadband very seriously.

Indicating the attainment of ICT in the economy, Danbatta said Nigeria is doing well in that space generally, stressing that the debasing of the economy was actually credited to ICT with a contribution of more than 10 per cent to GDP on a yearly basis which has continued to grow based on the first quarter of the first year.

Danbatta further noted that ICT had substantial impact on other sectors, “it has become the bedrock to the financial sector, positively impacting on the ease and delivery in various sectors. More than 16 million Nigerians were reported to be active on the Facebook platform.”

Danbatta noted that with the level of economic activities generated by the ICT sector when the country was yet to attain the desired level of growth, “it us evident that the nation’s economy will witness more accelerated growth as the scenario painted with the impact of huge broadband penetration is that of economic empowerment which will create more jobs across board, stimulate economic growth and empower the citizenry, while creating a more connected society and activities as envisioned in the new world of Internet of Everything (IoE).

Minister of Communications, Barrister Adebayo Shittu, reiterated the commitment of the government in ensuring the development of the ICT sector.

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‘38 per cent of targeted cyber attacks involve firms’ employees’

‘38 per cent of targeted cyber attacks involve firms’ employees’

Cyber attacks

• International Olympics Committee hit by 800m attacks in Brazil

A new research report from cyber-security specialist Kaspersky Lab revealed that gangs of highly sophisticated cyber-criminals are recruiting people working at various levels in IT, telecommunications firms and service provider companies to become suborned insiders allowing cyber-attackers to gain access to network and subscriber data.

This is even as that the International Olympics Committee recently announced that it was hit with 800 million cyber-attacks during the course of the just ended Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, which was four time the rate endured at the London Games of 2012.

The Kapersky report showed that 28 per cent of all Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks and 38 per cent of targeted cyber-attacks involve skilled, knowledgeable and often either disaffected compromised or just plain greedy employees.

Sophisticated the criminal gangs might be but they are not above the good-old criminal stand-by’s of threats, intimidation and the use of a bit of blunt force trauma when they consider it necessary. Insider targets that won’t or can’t be bribed are blackmailed into betraying their companies because, irony of ironies, the gangs’ use compromising personal information they glean from open sources as ammunition to scare employees into compliance.

Unsurprisingly, the report said telecommunications firms and network operators are a prime target of cyber-criminals because they hold what is, quite simply, an unbelievably enormous treasure trove of sensitive data on both customers and the workings and security of the firm and ISP networks themselves.

Kaspersky Lab revealed that the cyber-gangs have a range of tactics and strategies they use to suborn employees of organisations. The first approach is to tempt disenchanted and thus potentially willing workers to betray their employers via hidden ‘underground’ message boards on the dark web or via the intermediary services of crooked ‘middlemen’ recruiters. If that fails, the gangs quickly fall back to the blackmail option – indeed, the report says that for many gangs blackmail is becoming the premier weapon of choice because it is so easy to apply, ensures continuing compliance and costs nothing to enforce.

In the US the FBI says that after the enormous online data breaches perpetrated by the likes of Edward Snowden and Ashley Madison it is easier than ever for cyber-criminals to gain access to compromising private data that can be used to blackmail telecoms fir, and service provider employees and on June 1 this year, the agency even went so far as to issue one of its Public Service Announcements specifically warning of the risk and impact of ‘data-leak related extortion”.

The cyber-gangs also have a hit list of telecoms job titles and responsibilities attached to them. Those most heavily targeted are executives who have direct and fast access to subscriber and corporate data – be that in a fixed line or mobile operator.

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Stakeholders’ forum for ITU Telecom World 2016 holds next week in Lagos

Stakeholders’ forum for ITU Telecom World 2016 holds next week in Lagos

Tony Ojobo

As preparations for the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Telecom World 2016 are intensified, Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Stakeholders will next week hold a forum in Lagos.

The forum, which is open to Policy makers, Regulatory agencies, Network operators, Value Added Service Providers, Equipment vendors, Software specialists, Innovators, Banks and financial institutions, among others will be an opportunity for all to rub minds on the benefits of ITU events in general and the yearly ITU Telecom World 2016 in particular.

The forum holds at Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Ikeja on September 5, and it is being packaged by the Local Organizing Committee (LOC).

Director, Public Affairs at the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Tony Ojobo, in a statement said Nigeria’s theme for this year’s edition of ITU Telecom World is “Smart Communities: the key to a digital Nigeria” and the Country is expected to showcase its achievements and opportunities in its fast growing ICT Sector.

Participants at ITU Telecom World 2016 will have the opportunity to exhibit, showcase their services, attend ITU fora, host sessions, network and engage international participants across the globe through key visibility platforms presented at the event.

ITU Telecom World 2016 holds in Bangkok, Thailand from November 14 – 17.

In the light of multiple benefits derivable by participants, the Stakeholders forum will be hosted for stronger collaboration towards a common goal to deepen ICT penetration in Nigeria.

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Airtel partners Genesis to offer customers access on,

Airtel partners Genesis to offer customers access on,


Airtel Nigeria, has announced a strategic partnership agreement with Genesis (, leading global mobile Internet company, to provide customers on the Airtel network with an amazing opportunity to access and surf on and for free, without data charges and at an absolutely zero-rate. is Nigeria’s number one most visited digital content website and most downloaded news & entertainment mobile application in the country with over 17 million unique visitors every month and more than three million app downloads. releases news, videos and updates in English, Igbo, Hausa, Yoruba, and in Pidgin. is dominating Nigerian marketplace/classifieds destination, attracting over five million unique users each month. On you can buy, sell, trade, or find jobs and just about anything from 100 000+ trusted sellers and advertisers in cars, electronics, fashion, property, jobs etc.

With the partnership, Airtel subscribers can access and for free via the mobile applications or via the websites and

Commenting on the partnership, Chief Commercial Officer, Airtel Nigeria, Ahmad Mokhles, noted that Airtel Nigeria remains committed to its vision of becoming the preferred network for mobile Internet services, stating that the partnership demonstrates the firm’s resolve to creating massive empowerment opportunities that will connect Nigerians to their dreams and enable them fulfill their full potentials. Editor-In-Chief, Bayo Olupohunda, said: “In a world where news breaks like the drop of a hat, you will need the fastest medium of getting the news that are important to you at no cost., Nigeria’s number one online news portal understands that times are hard in our country but we have found the cheapest means of getting the news to your mobile devices.

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Nigerians among top users of ForexTime App

Nigerians among top users of ForexTime App

ForexTime App

Forex broker FXTM has updated its popular ForexTime App to offer fast and easy access to trading world.

Responding to traders’ demand for even more convenience, the ForexTime App now seamlessly integrates users’ ability to manage and access-trading accounts quickly and easily while staying on top of financial market movements, on-the-go.

Since the launch of the first version of the ForexTime App in October 2015, it has gained enormous popularity among traders and investors from across the globe, with more than 15 per cent of its users originating from Nigeria. These latest features are sure to provide traders with complete flexibility and control over their trading experience – anywhere, anytime.

While functionality of account management is often separated from the monitoring of the financial markets, the new ForexTime App has been specifically designed to integrate the two, bringing a 360-degree view of the trading environment in one place. The app allows users to receive on-the-spot updates on the financial markets, open and fully verify a trading account, deposit and withdraw their funds and download the trading platform of their choice.

The advanced app also offers access to an extremely wide range of products and services, including FXTM Invest – which allows clients to subscribe to experienced traders’ strategies or the PAMM program where clients can invest in portfolios or provide strategies. FXTM’s clients also benefit from access to FXTM Signals and Trading Central via the app and can easily sign up for FXTM’s contests or get information about upcoming local seminars.

Commenting on the launch, Vice President of Corporate Development and Market Research, Jameel Ahmad, said: “Today’s traders are seeking innovative, mobile solutions which will meet their entire trading needs. Offering our clients the latest technology is a key priority for FXTM, and we are extremely pleased to unveil the latest version of the ForexTime App which offers traders fast, easy and full command over their trading accounts and funds, while keeping them up to date with the markets.”

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EY sees media, entertainment firms capitalise on IoT opportunities

EY sees media, entertainment firms capitalise on IoT opportunities

Internet of Things

With billions of devices expected to be connected in the coming years, media and entertainment companies are well positioned to seize an early advantage as an enabler and receiver of Internet of Things (IoT) applications.

According to the Ernst and Young (EY) report, Internet of Things: Human-machine interactions that unlock possibilities, the total potential for IoT in the M&E space is expansive, to create, deliver and tailor content for new platforms and to measure the context of media consumption using analytics.

EY observed that the increasing sophistication of IoT sensors makes it possible for devices to read, gauge and understand consumers at unprecedented levels.

According to the report, the M&E industry is already using categories of sensors such as inertial, motion and image sensors used in animation, gaming, video images, camera stabilisation, sports and 3D. It stressed that this is opening up new, intimate entertainment experiences for consumers.

Africa Sector Leader for Technology, Media & Telecommunications leader at EY, Myhan Naidoo, said while numerous opportunities exist for IoT in M&E, it is important for companies in this sector to find the right balance between potential and necessity.

“IoT can enable an exceptional consumer experience; however, it can also have the opposite effect. To fully benefit from the potential of IoT, M&E companies need to take a customer-centric view when developing these strategies.”

“One of the most anticipated benefits of IoT for marketers is its potential – through the use of sensors – to unlock data on a person’s habits, preferences and most significantly, the context in which media is being consumed. Better data analytics will also address deficiencies in the current measurement system for media consumption, such as avoiding the duplication of unique users across platforms, and enhance what marketers know about their audiences.”

According to her, in an IoT world, media companies will be able to understand what a person is watching, as well as measure how, where, why and with whom consumers are viewing content.

Naidoo explained that this level of insight provided by smart devices would allow M&E companies to deliver targeted advertising that is relevant to a person’s presence in real-time. “IoT will not only improve the content experience for consumers, but it will also encourage the advertising industry to completely redefine its measure of success.”

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BCX calls for accelerated ICT growth

BCX calls for accelerated ICT growth

Business Connection (BCX) Nigeria

For Nigeria to come out of the current economic challeges, adoption of modern technologies has been described as critical to enable new forms of growth.

Speaking at a send forth party orgnanised in his honour in Lagos, at the weekend, the immediate past Managing Director of Business Connection (BCX) Nigeria, John Sviridov, said reviving the country’s economy should be based largely on Information and Communications Technology (ICT), especially modern technologies.

Sviridov, who returned to South Africa, after two years in Nigeria, noted that the more people are exposed to technology, the use of smartphones; datacenters, applications, networks, among others, the more the sector will grow. “The growth of Nigeria will be adjudged based on how fast technology can grow,” he stressed.

On the challenges confronting the sector, the MD of BCX, he disclosed that the technology sector was challenged on two fronts.

“Firstly because of lack of currency, lots of technology purchasing that you buy is based on forex. We trade in dollar and its lack has been a major problem.

“Secondly, the low adoption of technology itself is a problem, so people should be encourage to adopt technology. The more people use technology, the more people that use smartphones; datacenters, applications, networks, the better for the sector and the economy as a whole,” he stated.

According to him, the oil price flunctuation is another challenge, lack of dollars makes it tough to do business, “but there is now light at the end of the tunnel. Things are taking shape.”

In his address, the new MD, Ayo Adegboye, said this is not the first time Nigeria is experiencing recession, it happened in 2008, 2009, “So, things need to get worse before it can become better. John has done well in the last two years. We have a very strong brand and the quality of people on ground would give us more edge in the coming years.”

According to him, a lot have been done in the ICT sector, but the country has only scratched the head, because so many opportunities still abound.

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