Over the last 20 years, Nigeria has undergone many changes. The evolving landscape in the country has been due to financial liberalization and headways in mobile phone technology. Ten years ago, the output from Nigeria’s technology industry was limited, as was once its banking sector, which witnessed a high level of state dominance until the 1980s when there was an influx of foreign-owned banks.
Like its banking sector, Africa, and in particular, Nigeria, has witnessed many changes in its technology sector. In part, this is because of our move into The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), a new chapter in human history that has caused us to reconsider how people can use technology to positively impact their livelihoods.
A New Way Of Living
There is no question technology has improved lives in Nigeria. In 2020, Nigeria’s tech industry was forecasted to create three million jobs and produce £67.4 billion for the economy by 2021. Much of this growth comes from Nigeria’s mobile industry, which, in 2019, contributed $155 billion to the continent’s GDP.
In Nigeria, technology has many jobs, including helping people plan for unexpected emergencies. For instance, in 2016, Chika Madubuko founded Greymate Care, a health care technology company, after she couldn’t find a caregiver for her grandmother. In 2021, Greymate Care manages 1,000 caregivers and provides on-demand care for vulnerable individuals.
Technology has also assisted Nigerians in escaping a struggling economy by facilitating day-to-day living. Before 2007, when Safaricom launched its M-PESA solution for peer-to-peer money transfer, there were limited methods of transferring money, such as sending cash by bus. Now, with Nigeria’s many digital financial services (in March 2021, the Central Bank of Nigeria promised to focus more on this), individuals can better collect money.
Mobile money in Nigeria has also allowed individuals to stop relying on cash for physical purchases. Mobile transactions have skyrocketed in the country over the years, and in 2020, they increased by 82.6%.
Mobile pay has not only aided physical interactions but also improved the online experience. For example, African e-commerce and online entertainment sites offer mobile payments, including online casinos like South Africa’s Spin247 Casino which facilitates Skrill and Interac payments. Africa has a large gambling market, with South Africa estimated to pass $2.3 billion in GGR by 2023 and Nigeria accounting for 7% of the continent’s total GGR.
An already popular sector of Africa’s entertainment industry, mobile pay has increased its attraction. Mobile money decreases a player’s dependence on cash and provides a secure payment method, as these transactions don’t go through an intermediary.
More To Be Done
Nigeria’s tech industry has more to capitalize on. For instance, cryptocurrencies have significant potential in Nigeria, as they are, like mobile payments, peer-to-peer transactions and provide consumers with a secure payment method that decreases the reliance on cash. Nigeria’s government has cracked down on cryptocurrencies, but that hasn’t stopped investment interest in the country’s crypto market.
— jack⚡️ (@jack) June 13, 2021
Africa’s technology industry was once sparse, but now Nigeria is a hub for startups. Ten years ago, the country relied on outdated methods to carry out transactions, but technology has made this a thing of the past. Further developments can take Nigeria to new heights, too. As the former deputy governor of CBN Kingsley Moghalu said, “if you create the right environment, investments will come.”