Google Free WiFi & What It Means To Nigeria’s Digital Economy
Close your eyes for a minute and imagine a world with no internet- it is dark, Spartan and to sound like Thomas Hobbes, it is brutish. It is like living in a cave and serving gods like Amadioha or Sango, still, these gods get information from the cloud.
Having access to the internet is something every Nigerian craves for and most Nigerians cannot do without the internet because almost all daily activities hinge on the power of the internet.
In a country where the amount of money you spend on internet bills annually can afford a second-hand car, Google station, a high-speed public WiFi programme service brings light to the digital economy. As millions of Nigerians are rejoicing and celebrating this new development, the launch of the station would span across our education system, providing more easy access to E-Learning, and promoting literacy in Nigeria.
However, is Nigeria ready for digital growth? The digital economy has gotten to that level where businesses who fail to leverage on this opportunity fizzle out. Digital is not just part of the economy; it is the economy.
It’s an economy of limitless opportunities for some and disruption and displacement for others. Many years ago, local Taxi drivers were on top of the food chain in the transportation industry in Nigeria but with the birth of Uber and Taxify offering enhanced digital services, Taxi drivers are gasping for survival. Newspaper sales are on the decline because of blogs, most businesses are unable to adapt to these changes, while others are thriving. In the light of these, companies that are adapting to a digital world are more profitable than their industry peers.
It is estimated that the Nigerian digital economy will generate $88 billion and create three million jobs for Nigerians before the end of 2021. Indeed, this projection swoons the head and poses many questions at the same time. But with Nigeria still not ready to invest in human capital, there is a contention that meeting customers’ expectations would be difficult.
Businesses must become more innovative to better respond to the highly competitive, global business environment. The need to acquire 21st-century skills needed in the working space is indispensable for innovation, both within the business own boundaries and beyond, with customers, partners, startups, universities, and research communities.
While we may not be able to know for a certain what careers and businesses in the future is going to look like, what every Nigerian can do right now is to prepare for the career paths of tomorrow, and that career and business cannot survive if the digital economy is neglected.