Nigeria’s War on Tech
The Nigerian government is waging war on its technology industry. Within the last 12 months, President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration – through different ministries and regulatory bodies – has enacted a series of bans and operational restrictions in the country’s vibrant tech ecosystem.
Most recently, the Central Bank froze the accounts of four fintech platforms this August, claiming they were operating without a license and trading unethically sourced foreign currencies. The same month, the Nigerian Information and Technology Development Agency (NITDA) proposed introducing tax levies and licensing fees for tech companies as well as prison sentences for those who default on these payments.
Nigeria’s tech hub is one of the most attractive and full of economic potential in Africa. It is home to countless startups, two of which, Flutterwave and Paystack, have collectively secured nearly $400 million worth of investment in just the past year. In a nation struggling with widespread unemployment and poverty, Nigeria’s rapidly expanding tech industry is one of the few beacons of hope for upward mobility, especially amongst the youth.
Photo courtesy of Stars Foundation.