I came across an article at NigeriaGalleria.com just now, that not only highlights some of the challenges of doing business online from Nigeria, but also offers some solid advice on going around the challenges. It’s titled: “Obstacles to Conducting Internet Business in Nigeria“.
These obstacles vary from the poor electricity supply in Nigeria, to the lack of an online payment system (aside the expensive Interswitch gateway). I must confess that this article has inspired me to offer some suggestions to folks in Nigeria, on how they can receive and make payment online for their personal and business needs.
Back to NigeriaGalleria.com, I must say that I love the article. The author is not named but he/she is objective enough to concede that Nigeria has a very bad name on the Internet. No thanks to the 419 and ebay scammers. He/she also points to the fact that some online businesses do not do business with residents of Nigeria, at all and has this to say to them:
The reality is that we don’t need them to be successful. Nigeria has a population of more that 140M (2006 estimates) and counting, and there is enough cash in the economy and e-business awareness to make money online without bowing down to Paypal, Yahoo and other characters that believe that nothing good can come out of Nigeria. The Nigerian economy is large enough to create internet millionaires and billionaires without funds from abroad. Nigerian IT gurus can team together to develop a Nigerian online payment system, if that is not in the works already.
Things are changing gradually, with Visa and MasterCard coming to Nigeria, and Nigeria being delisted from the FATF blacklist. A day will come when Paypal will beg to come to Nigeria the way Google was grilled before they were allowed to operate in China.
Are you in Nigeria trying to survive in a honest way online? Share your thoughts about your experiences and challenges.