By Emmanuel Elebeke
It is possible for Nigeria Cyber CafÃ© industryÂ to blossom again and become a hot bed for entrepreneurs,Â the PresidentÂ of Nigeria Internet Group (NIG), Engr. Lanre Ajayi has said.
He said could be achieved only when the operators are focused, dedicated, andÂ prepared to bring to bear the needed professionalism and innovative skills into the business, without necessarily succumbing to the obvious infrastrutural challenges facing the industry.
Ajayi who stated this in Lagos admitted that the industry is currently going through a lot of challenges but submitted that the problem can be surmounted with the right attitude.
Apart from job creation, the Cyber CafÃ© industry when fully comes on stream will enhance e-gorvernance which is about to take the centre stage in all human activity both inÂ private and public domain.
Ajayi who spoke while delivering a key note address at theÂ one day survival workshop and mini exhibition, organized by Media Mart limited in Lagos, with the theme â€œ Scarcity Verses Cost-taking; The Broadband Challenges. Practical Solutions to all Cyber CafÃ© and SME Internet Challengesâ€Â saidÂ the survival of Cyber CafÃ© business in a challenging terrain likeÂ Nigeria requires people who are bold andÂ deterbrake even because VOIP was functioning but with evolution of telecom, VOIP declined. To ensure continued sustenance of the industry, he said only a change of approach by the operators will do the magic of saving the ailing industryÂ from possible collapse.
According to him, changing ofÂ tacticsÂ by the operators had become necessary in view of theÂ dynamics inherent in running Cyber CafÃ© business in the modern day business, more especially as it concerns emerging technologies.
This is even as he revealed that demand for internet services had started increasing, this is in addition toÂ Â adoption of online payment in the government establishments across the country in line with the global best practices.
This according to him underscores the need for evolution of Cyber business in Nigeria, built on strong business ideals and professional competence. He cited the recent adoption of e-registrationÂ by the West African Examination Council (WAEC) andÂ theÂ directives issued byÂ the federal government to its parastatals on adoption ofÂ e-payment formular, a situation he said bears credence to expected possibilities in the industry, a development he was optimistic could sparkÂ of a quantum jump in the number of Cyber Cafes operating in Nigeria, if diligently adhered to.
â€œToday, there are more awareness than before about online transactions. Demand for internet services is climbing, and government businesses very soon will move up to online, and whether they like it or not, it is coming to stay. The recent commencement of e-registration by WAEC and the recent directives from the federal government to its parastatals on theÂ adoption ofÂ e-payment system are clear indicators of what will happen soon in the industry. When this happens, Iâ€™m sureÂ will give rise to a quantum jump to the number of Cyber CafÃ© in the country as against whatÂ we have today.
â€œIâ€™m sure they areÂ possibilities, by that timeÂ the operators of Cyber CafÃ© will have no choice than to go back to business. Every businessÂ needs to go online now because e-business encourages 24 hours operation in a week.Â It also reduces a lot of bottlenecks, as well as inconveniences associated with traditional business. In fact, I can see some prospects for CyberÂ industry and I have no iota of doubt in me about the future of the industry, â€ Ajayi averred.
At the workshop, different presentations were made byÂ industry experts including: Chief Executive Officer of Junisat Communications, Engr. Gbenga Ojuri, who spoke on the theme â€œBandwidth Myths and Realityâ€.
According to Ojuri,Â the problem with Nigeria Cyber business lies with limited bandwidth access by the operators, and positedÂ thatÂ no bandwidth could be said to be infinite anywhere in the world. He saidÂ the only wayÂ to maximize the available