Five Indigenous Firms Driving Digital Transformation in Nigeria

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One of the remarkable features of the twenty-first century is an increasing digital presence in nearly all aspects of life. This ongoing digitalization has even intensified with the advent of the covid-19 pandemic. The Nigerian economy is projected to grow by $8.79 billion in the next three years. More than half of the projected growth will come from the ICT sector. Digital transformation is the integration of digital technology into all areas of a business, fundamentally changing how we operate and deliver value. It also entails a cultural transformation whereby organizations and individuals adopt the use of digital platforms to communicate, make and receive payment, and produce goods and services. In Nigeria, certain firms, by the virtue of their services and innovations, have contributed immensely to advancing digital transformation on different fronts including payments, communication, public finance management, human resource management, shopping, and corporate culture. While there are many of such indigenous firms in Nigeria, we will discuss 5 of them.

  1. SystemSpecs

One of the oldest technology companies in Nigeria, SystemSpecs is the creator of three easily recognized products; Human Manager for human capital management, Paylink for receiving payments and Remita, for overall financial processing and management. Founded by John Obaro as a software reseller in 1992, SystemSpecs has grown to be one of the largest tech firms in Africa, producing Remita, one of the most iconic payment solutions ever developed in Africa.

Remita, the company’s flagship product, has become a household name for millions of Nigeria making different payments to the federal government, including school fees for Federal Government higher institutions, registration fees for the Joint Admission Matriculation Board, JAMB examinations, public utilities, etc.

As the main payment processor for the Nigerian government’s Treasury Single Account for many years, Remita has transformed Nigeria’s public finance system. Remita made the TSA work, as it was the only product with the features that could aggregate all federal government accounts on one single platform, digitalizing the country’s entire financial system

2. Globacom

Globacom is one of the most familiar brand names to Nigerians. Founded by Nigerian billionaire, Mike Adenuga, Globacom is the only one wholly indigenous out of the four major telecommunications giants in Nigeria. Through its telecommunication infrastructure and services which includes both voice and data communications, Globacom is enabling digital transformation for millions of Nigerians. It is also one of the biggest employers in the country, with over 3,500 employees worldwide.

In 2011, GLO became the first telecommunication company to build an a high-capacity fibre-optic cable known as Glo-1, a submarine cable from the United Kingdom to Nigeria; the first successful submarine cable from the United Kingdom to Nigeria.

Globacom has over 45 million subscribers (December 2018), making it the second largest network operator in Nigeria. The telecoms giant has also expanded to other countries, serving customers in the United Kingdom and Ghana.

3. Jumia

Jumia is another household name in Nigeria, associated with online shopping and e-commerce. Jumia was founded in 2012 by ex McKinsey employees, Jeremy Hodara and

Sacha Poignonnec, along with Nigerian, Tunde Kehinde and Ghanian, Raphael Kofi Afaedor. Today it is the number one online store in Nigeria, providing access to purchase electronics, household utensils, and many more online for millions of Nigerians. Jumia sources many of its products from Nigerian merchants, empowering thousands of local businesses.

Jumia Nigeria’s ecommerce website,, is ranked number 1,503 in global internet engagement and the thirteenth most visited website in Nigeria.

Jumia has also created brand extensions, including Jumia Pay for payments, Jumia Travel for travel bookings, and Jumia Foods for food delivery.

 The company also operates in several African countries including Egypt, Cameroon and South Africa.

4. Kudabank

A largely new company in Nigeria, Kudabank has a huge ambition; to take banking completely online and accessible to everyone at a click. Formerly known as Kudimoney, Kudabank is Nigeria’s first mobile-only bank licensed by the Nigerian Central Bank. Zero card maintenance fees, free transfers, automatic savings. Kudabank is currently enabling digital transformation for many people and small businesses in Nigeria by making savings, investment and financial planning easily accessible thereby enabling financial inclusion.

Kudabank is also an attempt to maximize the use of artificial intelligence for banking and finance management. The Kudabank app has tools for tracking spending habits, helping users to save more, etc.

5. Reliance Infosystems

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This largely quiet firm is on this list because of its ambitious mission to enable Nigerian organizations acquire the needed technological infrastructure and strategies for digital transformation. Founded over a decade ago, Reliance infosystems has grown rapidly under its CEO, Yemi Popoola, from a small B2B enterprise to a potential unicorn with over a hundred staff and operations in other African countries including Ghana and Botswana. Reliance assists businesses to transform digitally, lowering costs, improving efficiency, and maximizing productivity.

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