By Adeniyi Ogunfowoke
As the price of oil continues to nosedive globally and the Nigerian economy is in recession, this has resulted to cutting in government expenditure and the loss of jobs.
But an interesting thing that is happening in this recession is that sectors that have been ignored for years are being given attention by the Nigerian government. One of such industries is the Nigerian tech space.
Technology in Nigeria has continued to grow since the turn of the decade. Today, there are hundreds of tech startups, tech ecosystem and incubation hubs making a significant contribution to the Nigerian economy. This is long before the crash of oil prices.
The biggest recognition offered to the Nigerian tech space so far is the visit of Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook. This even makes it important to note that it is possible for technology to drive Nigeria out of the current economic recession. Jumia Travel, Africa’s No 1 hotel booking portal shares 4 possible ways technology can drive Nigeria’s economy out of recession.
Partnership with incubation hubs
Incubation hubs are dotted all over Nigeria including Lagos. In fact, Yaba has been tagged as the country’s Silicon Valley because of the presence of many tech startups, incubation hubs and e-commerce businesses. Leading the incubation hub pack is Co-Creation hub (CC Hub). These incubation hubs are already working with startups and a public-private partnership with them will go a long way.
Support tech startups
The government is already doing this as it recently organized a technology Demo day where 30 selected startups showcased their businesses and ideas in Abuja. If more of these events are organized, it will provide much-needed funds for these startups.
Tax breaks for e-commerce businesses
Technology has a huge impact on the e-commerce industry. They employ thousands of Nigerians. While concerted efforts are being made to prevent job losses, e-commerce businesses are groaning due to the recession and lack of infrastructure. But, if these e-commerce businesses are granted tax breaks, there will be a decline in job losses and more people will even be employed.
Take advantage of angel investors
Facebook invested over $24 million in Andela in Nigeria. Andela is a tech hub where future tech engineers are trained. There are many bigger tech companies and angel investors with blank checks looking to invest in these tech startups. Of course, since technology is not based on oil, it will attract more investors. Hence, tech startups can take advantage of them.
Adeniyi Ogunfowoke is a PR Associate at Jumia Travel.