Although hundreds of digital start-ups exist across Nigeria, some of them stand out from the crowd.
The growth of mobile telephones led to a sharp rise in access to the internet for millions of Nigerians. While less than a million people had access to the internet in Africa’s most populous country before 2003, over 90 million now have access according to official figures.
The high number of internet users has also spurred the growth of thousands of digital platforms that offer a wide range of services including traffic monitoring, budget monitoring and online news.
Below are 10 of the most interesting of such platforms.
An online community that allows Nigerians to discuss any and all issues. Although the discussions can be moderated, visitors are often allowed the leverage to express their views on a broad range of issues. It is also very popular among young Nigerians many of whom rely on it for information on issues such as job openings, politics and entertainment. Founded in 2005 by a young Nigerian, Seun Osewa, the site has over 1.4 million registered users and has consistently remained among the top 10 visited websites in Nigeria.
As the name suggests, this platform is about jobs. With an unemployment rate of over 20 per cent, and millions of employed people seeking alternatives, jobberman is a choice destination for Nigerians seeking to know available job openings in different sectors of the country.
Using infographics and simple to understand tools, this platform seeks to simplify government spending to Nigerians. “At BudgIT, we believe it is the RIGHT of every citizen to have access and also understand public budgets,” the website says on its home page. That simplifies what it does.
This digital newspaper dedicated to investigative stories and breaking news can be credited with revolutionalising news distribution among Nigerians. Formed by experienced investigative journalists from the defunct 234Next.com, Premium Times can be credited with revolutionalising news distribution among Nigerians. The media uses all possible digital platforms to ensure as many Nigerians as possible have access to free and quality news.
Anyone who has lived in Nigeria, particularly its largest city, Lagos, would know how transportation is a major problem for the West African country. In a country where road transportation is the norm, Gomyway.com offers a ride sharing platform that connects “passengers with drivers who have spare seats to share.”
While its popularity seems to have ebbed a little, Giditraffic was unique when it first started giving updates on traffic situations in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital. By allowing road users to report the traffic situation anywhere they are, the platform allowed millions of Lagos residents monitor the traffic situation in any part of the city, which has one of the worst traffic problems in the world.
With an increasing middle class, increasing internet usage and democratic growth allowing better regulation in the banking industry, it was only a matter of time before online sales would be the norm in Nigeria. Jumia was one of the first to fill that vacuum. The online retail store, alongside its main competitor, Konga.com, has dominated online sales in Nigeria and has since expanded to other African countries.
This team of computer scientists and programmers are behind some of Nigeria’s fastest growing technology platforms. Describing themselves as investing in “social tech ideas that can bring about a better Nigeria,” some of their projects include BUDGIT and Grit Systems.
The history of democracy in Nigeria cannot, perhaps, be complete without mention of the contribution of this activist platform. Using leaks and sources in various government circles, this US based online media dedicates itself to exposing corruption and other malpractices by Nigerian public officials.
Launched in 2011, this internet platform provides Nigerian movies on demand. In a way similar to Netflix, users pay a little sum to have access to and download top Nigerian movies. “Watching instantly works with all levels of broadband, however, we recommend a minimum speed of 500 kbps.” the owners say.