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Gbenro Dara, the newly appointed Managing Director of Efritin.com, a platform that allows Nigerians to buy fairly used products online, has affirmed that the tech space in Nigeria is becoming increasingly more competitive. In a chat with Ventureburn, Dara said this development affirms that the tech space in Nigeria is developing.
He however noted the non-existence or lack of essential infrastructure had slowed down the rate of growth of the tech industry in Nigeria – yet he said the prospect is still bright for the ecosystem adding that the decision of the government to focus on diversifying the economy would further improve the industry.
“Collectively and in terms of the general infrastructure required to further develop the sector, it is still not at that ideal position in terms of development. But it will get there perhaps, faster than imagined because the signs are already there and rightly driven, it has a latent potential for growth in the coming years especially with the Government’s focus on diversification of the economy,” Dara said.
Improved adoption of local solutions
In addition to infrastructural development, he said the tech ecosystem in Nigeria could record significant growth if the local market embraces locally developed tech solutions. This he said suggests that locally developed tech solutions are not yet fully trusted.
“There is still that measure of doubt and lack of trust from the average Nigerian, even among the middle-class about the solutions the tech space in Nigeria offers. An instance for example is in the retail space where some still prefer to go the traditional route than visit an online marketplace because they have not been convinced of its reliability and advantages. But we often find out that these are generally the late adopters and they tend to be very satisfied customers when they do finally give it a try.”
So this year, Dara said while he is looking forward to more innovation, he is also expecting improved adoption as it will also help to ensure that the sector develops at the anticipated pace.
An assessment of the business landscape in Nigeria in the first half of the year, according to him, has been a fairly difficult one and the reasons are there: rising costs drawing from several factors.
“You find that some of the plans companies mapped out at the beginning of the year either suffered setbacks or have been altered in one way or more,” he told Ventureburn.
Going forward, he said he expects the Nigerian government to do more to drive the needed policies that are essential for the economy to thrive and for businesses to grow.
“Also, there is currently no central database in Nigeria which has made the issue of security and verification a bit cumbersome for us. 30% of our workforce is currently dedicated to this activity. Hopefully the Federal Government will take steps to ensure that this problem is solved in the near future,” he said.
Image: Innovation Village.