10 Notable Nigerian Tech Companies that Existed Before Democratic Rule and Continue to Thrive Today
…as Nigeria Marks 20 Years of Uninterrupted Democracy
It has been 2 decades since the end of military rule in Nigeria. In the short period of time since its return to civil rule, the country has experienced significant developments as well as down times. And the tech ecosystem has not been immune to it.
Many companies have succumbed to the upheavals of a changing political landscape and collapsed in the last 20 years. But several others have withstood the test of time and continue to thrive today. And in honor of Democracy day, here’s a compilation of resilient pre-democracy era tech companies that continue to shape the tech ecosystem.
CWG (Computer Warehouse Group plc), is one of few Nigerian tech companies to have been around for a while. A leading provider of Information Technology solutions across Sub-Saharan Africa, it was founded by Austin Okere and began operations in September 1992.
Initially, it was an IT infrastructure sales firm. But now, it has evolved into an IT Powerhouse with an annual revenue of $120 million and staff strength of about 700, a long way from the 4 staff members it started with.
Omatek is a Nigerian original equipment manufacturer (OEM) pioneer. Founded by Florence Seriki in 1988, Omatek is known in Africa as the first factory to locally assemble computers, with a completely knocked down computer factory in Nigeria and Ghana.
The factory assembles speakers, keyboards, mouses, computer cases and many more gadgets. The company is also known for pioneering 24-hour alternate power solution. This includes – solar, UPS, inverter, battery, and light emitting diodes (LED) bulb.
Founded in 1982, Inlaks is an Information Technology Systems Integrator specialised in the deployment of ICT Infrastructure Solutions Provider.
The company collaborates with leading Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) in the technology industry. In addition to this, Inlaks also deploys Commercial/Resource Planning Software and Services to many multinational companies. These companies cuts across various segments including banking, telecommunication, oil/gas, power, utilities and the distribution sectors of the economy.
Signal Alliance is an enterprise technology provider. Started in 1996 by Collins Onuegbu, Signal Alliance serves as an end-to-end system integrator.
Headquartered in Lagos, the company has today moved beyond systems integration to a diversified technology company, expanding its internal business and also investing in promising technology companies using Sasware, its technology investment subsidiary. Some of these subsidiaries include – Medismart (health tech), Nemoante (renewable energy), Codeware (Enterprise IT) and CompexAfrica (Fintech).
Chams PLC is a leading provider of smart card technologies, payment collections and identity management systems. Started in 1985 by Ademola Benjamin Aladekomo, Chams also offers public access retail billing and collection system with internet access.
The company went public in 2008 and was contracted to develop Nigeria’s identity management system in 2007.
Precise Financial Systems
Started in 1994, Precise Financial Systems is a software development company that serves players in the banking sector. Founded by Yele Okeremi (the current ISPON President), the company provides software solutions that help with account reconciliation, cheque and e-payment processing as well as security and remittance.
The company also plays in the card issuance and monitoring sector. Some of its solutions include – Clirec, iTeller, Payit, Symphony, Appraise, Pensol amongst several others.
NITEL/MTEL (Now NTEL)
Founded in 1985 Nigerian Telecommunications Limited (NITEL) was the combination of the telecommunications division of Post and Telecommunications and Nigerian External Communications (NET).
The new company was formed to improve coordination of telecommunication services within the country and was the monopoly telephone service provider in Nigeria until 1992 when new entrants were allowed into Nigeria’s telecom space.
In 2014, the company was sold (after 4 failed attempts) to NATCOM for $252 million, as part of the government’s effort to reform the telecom sector. In April 2016, Nigeria Telecoms Company (NTEL) was started as a reincarnation of the defunct NITEL.
Popularly known for their e-payments and e-collections platform – Remita, SystemSpecs was founded in 1991 by John Obaro. SystemSpecs develops human capital management and financial software solutions, providing robust solutions to individuals and corporate organisations.
Its solutions are known to have revolutionised their various sectors. Its premier solution SunSystems is a financial management service. HumanManager has revolutionised the Payroll and HR processes of several organisations. Not forgetting its flagship product, Remita, which is even used by the Federal Government to power the country’s Treasury Single Account project.
NCR Limited is one of Nigeria’s oldest technology companies. It was founded in 1949, under the name National Cash Register Company (West Africa) Limited, before undergoing a name change to NCR Plc in 1974.
The company provides technology and services that help businesses transact with their customers in areas like sales of equipment/ hardware devices, provision of hardware and software installation and maintenance services, and the sale of automated teller machines (ATMs).
Tripple Gee & Company Plc
Founded in 1980, Tripple Gee commenced operations as a small print service for commercial office stationery, food and pharmaceutical companies.
But the company has over the years gone beyond that to become a pioneer security printer through research and development in the science of print security and most recently print data security. Its services and products are used across industry sectors from banking, government regulatory bodies, oil and gas to pharmaceuticals and FMCG manufacturers.
In conclusion, these companies have come a long way in their various sectors, pioneering different solutions. And we at Technext salute them. Happy Democracy Day everyone!
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