… I’m more convinced than ever that this prophecy will come true. And I of course plan and hope for Solynta Energy to be at the forefront of this great solar power revolution about to hit the country.
Great parallels can be drawn from the Telecommunications industry. In 2001, there are just 75,000 connected phone lines in Nigeria and it was all but impossible for most people to make a phone call. And then came the mobile telephone revolution. And today 16 years later, we now have over 150 million active lines in the country. Further ask yourself the last time you went into a Cyber Café or Business Centre to use the internet. Examples of huge seemingly insoluble problems just over a decade ago that have been totally solved.
The same is true across a wide range of industries across Nigeria today. Some of which are listed above. The new technologies being developed today the so called 4th Industrial Revolution will have a truly transformative impact on the country. Technologies such as Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning, Blockchain, Cryptocurrencies and 3D Printing provide us with a tremendous opportunity to truly face the problems of the country and set about fixing them.
The wide proliferation of smartphones in Nigeria provides the perfect distribution channel. One through which real solutions to our seemingly intractable problems can be solved. I’m the co-founder of an app called Smaart Health, which is seeking to revolutionize the healthcare industry by using artificial intelligence to accurately diagnose medical conditions and connect patients to the relevant care provider, all from their smartphones. The poor healthcare system of the country (Nigeria’s healthcare system ranks 187 out of 191 countries) provides the perfect conditions into which 21st century solutions can be delivered to patients, leapfrogging the country into the top bracket of healthcare providers worldwide.
The development opportunities are wide and varied. They are not just confined to business. A few days ago, a close friend of mine shared with me an app he’s about to launch which revolutionizes the process of Politics in Nigeria. As he showed it to me, I was utterly blown away and actually saw that we will soon have an easy and practical way to hold our governments to account effectively whilst simultaneously empowering the populace in a major way. I could scarcely contain my excitement and awe at what he was showing me and it really emphasized the point that the greatest problems really do present the greatest opportunities. I for one cannot wait for the app to go live.
I’m an avid reader and a student of 19th century US business history. Specifically the period spanning from the end of the civil war in the late 1860’s until the middle of the 20th century. This is a period of time commonly referred to the great industrial revolution. Where we witnessed the shift from a largely agrarian economy to a manufacturing one. And the advent of such great inventions as Railroads, Steel, Skyscrapers, The Horseless Carriage (motor vehicles) to name a few. What strikes me most poignantly about this period of US history is just how closely it resembles current day Nigeria. Practically every industry in Nigeria can be disrupted using 21st century technologies. From Solar Power to Artificial Intelligence, to Fintech.
It is truly a wonderful time to be alive and in a position to actually change our country for the better. It is up to our generation to step up to the plate and make our mark on history. The opportunities are endless to achieve this. We must turn our lamenting into positive and purposeful action.And I’m totally convinced that we can transform our great country into the paradise we all believe it can be.
Every problem we see everyday is a huge opportunity. Let’s change the way we look at these problems, and the way these problems look will change. This may seem farfetched but I guess I’m just an optimist who sees the opportunities in problems.