Nigeria Market Is Riddled With Junk IT Products – Saied

Aasim Saied is the chairman of a mobile technology company which makes technology for the future, Akyumen Technologies. In this interview with Nkechi Isaac of Nigeria Leadership newspaper, he points out that Nigeria is well advanced in Information and Communication Technology development, but notes that the sector is riddled with substandard products which have negative consequences.

Tell as about Akyumen Technologies?
Our company has developed smartphones and tablets with a built-in projector using nanotechnology which is the latest technology. Akuymen has developed a device that can project pictures. The whole device is built on nanotechnology architecture. This means that when you’re projecting a device less than 30 degrees centigrade it can project for several hours without generating heat. Other companies have not been able to solve the heat issue because they do not use nanotechnology like we do.

How will Nigerians, especially the telecommunication sector, benefit from this technology?

Firstly, Nigeria has one of the largest markets in telecom and more people use phones here than in other countries. So we’re looking at this market for creative technology because it is very fashionable. This is a very attractive device as you can see. Projecting movies, TV shows or your presentations on the wall will attract people to what is being projected. Secondly, when you come to Nigeria millions of students don’t have proper access to education. They do not have proper infrastructure in the school so if they have a tablet device with a projector, one device per classroom, then they’ll have direct access to educational contents globally.

Have you reached out to any institution with this product?
We have and many of them are very interested in acquiring it. Literally, in one year we’ll be in over 100 top colleges and universities in Nigeria. It makes teaching very easy because it has educational contents from other universities connected to it. The device has an application platform which has contents from universities all over the world with lectures, reviews and documentaries. So this one device and all the accessories that come with it will be an amazing infrastructure within every classroom, and you don’t have to give this device per student; you only need one per classroom which is economical.
We are currently talking with about 25 schools and other schools are working on coming on board too. We’re trying to get at least 50 per cent of the schools within the first year which is by March 2017. It is a very affordable device because it is the same price with an Ipad, but for educational purposes we give 50 per cent off. This is a piece of information technology that can revolutionalise Nigeria’s education system which is absolutely relevant to the educational development of students. We have tested it in many colleges across theworld already and it was very successful.

How old is this device?
We invented it in 2008, but like every other technology it needed research and development to perfect it so it took us several years to perfect it using nanotechnology. This device is certified and of high quality.
How will you rate the Nigerian telecoms sector in terms of the development of new innovative technologies?
The Nigerian telecommunication sector is very advanced and the carriers are also very advanced, but what worrisome is that a lot of people are dumping junk in the market. There’s a lot of junk in the nation’s telecoms system as our markets are flooded with uncertified devices from Asian countries. People buy junk because the carriers did not do a good job in verifying what is junk and what is not, they just go after what is cheap. Cheap is not always good, it can ruin somebody’s health.
We’re also working with government organisations and other corporations within Nigeria to bring Nigerian content into our devices too so that we’ll be creating realistic jobs, not just the job of wrapping and boxing but real jobs in which people ccan do software development completely associated with mobile devices, laptops, and others. We’re trying to create innovation centres in schools so that students would learn how to do high accredited jobs. These kinds of jobs will improve the status and knowledge base of the people. Our target is employ 500 people in one year and about 2,500 in two years. 

Does this product have after sales service options?

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We’re setting up repair services centres where we’re training local people to do repairs so as to fix the devices and replace irreparable devices.

 Are you working in collaboration with any of our local service providers?

 We have met with many telecom providers; they are a very important part of the project here because they provide the services while we provide the hardware. We’re also working with the regulators.

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