According to Wikipedia, the economy of Nigeria is a middle-income, mixed economy and emerging market, with expanding manufacturing, financial, service, communications, technology and entertainment sectors. It is ranked as the 27th-largest economy in the world in terms of nominal GDP, and the 24th-largest in terms of purchasing power parity.
With a GDP just under $450 billion, Nigeria holds the position of the richest country in Africa. The sizeable GDP is mainly driven by finance, transport, infrastructure, tourism, and an abundance of crude oil.
For a country with such abundance, and a population in excess of 200 million people according to UN data, which is equivalent to 2.64% of the total world population, Nigeria is necessarily the priority of any meaningful business interest. It ranks number 7 in the list of countries by population.
Sequel to what seems like a poor political decision, that stems from the visit of Twitter’s CEO and co-founder Jack Dorsey to Ghana in 2019, and his recent virtual engagements with president Nana Akufo-Addo, the social media company announced this week that Ghana would serve as it’s headquarters in Africa.
The company is already looking to fill 12 positions in the West African country but will hold off on opening a physical office until the Covid-19 pandemic subsides.
Whatever may be the reason of Tweeter to move to Ghana as against Nigeria, the real economic and financial hub of Africa, that reason is poorly conceived and may even be politically wrong.
In business, particularly in Africa, wealth is mostly created through entrepreneurship. The “right idea” is the most common element in terms of driving entrepreneurial success in Africa. This is followed by timing and having the right team. Finance is often cited as the least important element, but business location is fundamentally paramount, especially locations with population.
Ghana has an economy that is less diverse and less in resources when compared to Nigeria. With a GDP of $67,077 Billion, it only recently made the list of wealthiest countries on the African continent, coming at number nine last year.
However, in what conforms with the idiom, one man’s meat is another man’s poison, or different people have different preferences, the tech giant, Microsoft Corporation is set to partner with Nigeria for a more enhanced digital economy.
In a statement in Abuja on Monday, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, through his spokesman, Laolu Akande, said Nigeria is to partner Microsoft Corporation to accelerate the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP) on a deepened digital economy.
The vice president said the partnership would leverage Microsoft’s experience in the utilisation of technology as an enabler for the delivery of public and social good. Under the partnership, no fewer than 5 million Nigerians would benefit from a digital upskilling.
Microsoft, established in 1975 by Bill Gates and Paul Allen, was the first software company to reach $1 Billion in revenues. As technology advanced and personal computers become so popular, the bulk of Microsoft’s revenue was generated from sales to consumers. And the benefit to Nigeria cannot be over emphasized.
Strong brand equity is a major source of competitive advantage for Microsoft. It is a more than 40 years old business. The company has brought a large suite of hardware and software products to the market. The focus of its products is on increasing the productivity of millions around the world.
Microsoft’s impact on the local economy is substantial. Like Boeing, Microsoft not only employs thousands of people but also supports many more local jobs in other industries through its indirect impact on business activity in the state (the so- called multiplier effect).
It develops, manufactures, licenses, supports, and sells computer software, consumer electronics, personal computers, and related services. It’s best known software products are the Microsoft Windows line of operating systems, the Microsoft Office suite, and the Internet Explorer and Edge web browsers.
All these are merchandizes that when brought to Nigeria, would be great boosters to the economy.
Research has shown that when the South African GSM service provider MTN decided to go to Nigeria, the company was motivated by a number of factors, with population playing the principal.
Having leveraged on trade integration to harness the benefits of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area, it partnered with the country to improve basic education financing, as well as improve human capital outcomes.
Between the country and the company, mutual successes are still being recorded.
Although Nigeria has some infrastructural challenges, the World Bank, in it’s Digital Economy Diagnistic Report of 2020, reveals that the country has made several positive developments in the digital space including high-speed Internet via five underwater international links.
This has significantly reduced constraints in terms of international bandwidth usage and prices, as well as boosting network capacity.
Additionally, the diagnostic found that Nigeria is improving on the provision of digital platforms. For example, the government created a central portal to improve the delivery and quality of public services.
With the size of Nigeria’s economy, the report highlighted the enormous opportunities Digital Financial Services (DFS), a driver of financial inclusion, could have for this growing market.
The report said, the financial sector has already benefitted from investments in payment systems and financial markets infrastructure, such as the Bank Verification Number (BVN).
Through natural positioning, and the digital vision in leadership, Nigeria is increasingly taking the position of Universal business nursery of necessity in Africa.
Yes Nigeria may feel sidelined by the decision of Tweeter to go to Ghana, but with the planned partnership of Microsoft with the country, it is a case of bigger benefit to the biggest brother in Africa.
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