By Moses Nosike
Dozy Mmobuosi, Group Chief Executive Officer, Tingo Mobile Plc. It is a technology firm that builds mobile phone plants, provides solutions for agricultural, health and security sectors. The company’s on-going project to deploy 5,000 CCTV cameras in Kano State will attest to this.
In this interview with Nosike Moses, he reveals how advanced countries have leveraged on the technology to develop their economies. Federal Government, state governments can also do same to provide adequate security, improve agriculture, healthcare, transportation system to develop the country’s economy. Excerpts:
What is Tingo Mobile all about, its contributions to Nigerian economy?
Tingo Mobile Plc. in the last 16 years as technology company has evolved, from being a content provider to a hardware manufacturer and Internet of Things Company. Tingo built the first mobile phone assembly plant in sub-Sahara Africa. In 2013, I walked into a factory in China and saw how it’s done from design, procurement, etc.
You see, brands like Samsung, Apple, LG had built their brands over the years, but in Africa there was not any technology company doing what Samsung and Apple are doing in the world. Tingo was prompted to replicate what they are doing here in Nigeria, and we have the market, a market size of almost 200 million people. So, there is no way we can’t provide solutions for them.
Like I said, from being a mobile content provider to providing solutions to several sectors including the agric sector, healthcare, security and transportation. These are the core sectors we have been operating in. As a technology company, we provide solutions to real problems. Tingo is positioned to solve problems.
Since Tingo Mobile started, how many companies have enjoyed your service?
Tingo Mobile was incorporated in 2001. Since then, we have worked with government at all levels under PPP structures. We offer solutions to government, provide mobile devices and technology support to farmers across Nigeria without taking penny from the government. It’s a private sector driven initiative enabling the Nigerian farmers gain access to market with mobile devices and data and they were able to gain access to the global market.
How can this device go round since majority of the farmers need it?
We have not had difficulties moving devices across Nigeria, even across rural Nigeria. We have partnered non-governmental organizations, financial institutions and telcos. We have delivered simplified agric extension services to rural Nigeria and built a financial ecosystem for the unbanked Nigerians. Frankly, there is still work to be done.
How supportive is government in this aspect?
The last administration was very supportive. We have not seen a solid direction from the present administration but we remain hopeful as we continue to support the Nigerian economy our dear country, foreigners will not build our country for us.
One of your subsidiaries, TingoVestigeo, what do you want to achieve with it?
TingoVestigeo is posed to deliver hitch solutions in the areas of security. We have a contract with Kano State government to provide over 5000 CCTV cameras. These CCTV cameras are IP enabled and they can analyze photos and videos. We are already providing state-of-the art security solutions, the standard you see in the US and Europe. The closest you can find in Africa is in South Africa.
The Kano CCTV project is a public private partnership between the Kano state government and Tingo Vestigio Technology Solutions Limited. This project is an effort by the Governor, Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje to improve security in Kano state, the commercial nerve of Northern Nigeria. The scope of the project involves the deployment of 5,000 CCTV cameras across the entire state; every road junction, entry and exit points, markets, mosques, churches and other areas will be fully covered by CCTV. These systems will be powered with a robust system of solar and wind turbines to provide 99.9% reliability.
Furthermore, 300 Police patrol (Ford Police Interceptor) vehicles will be provided to the police for emergency response complementing the CCTV system. These vehicles will be fueled, serviced and maintained for an 8 year renewable period to ensure continued availability for emergency response.
Finally, a 3 digit emergency phone line will be set up with the ability to manage 500 simultaneous calls state wide. Emergency calls into this line will be toll free and available 24/7 for the prompt reporting of emergency incidents or provide security information. This call centre will be serviced in the predominant languages of residents in Kano state for ease in communication. This project is a first of its kind in Nigeria and underscores President Buhari’s agenda to improve security in Nigeria.
Now that the country is experiencing kidnapping, killings and all that, have you been in touch with other state governors apart from Kano, even Federal Government?
We are in talks with state governments and it has been positive. After Kano, we will be replicating this project in other states. I encourage governments at all level to adopt technology in the area of security.
What are your major achievements with Tingo Mobile so far?
Tingo has supported governments and the open market to solve real problems – our works in the agric, healthcare, transport and security sectors are evident. Tingo Mobile Plc with the support of shareholders and stakeholders will continue to play in the technology space in Nigeria and beyond.
In the medical sector, how have you been able to assist that sector?
We have solutions where people in rural Nigeria can access health insurance. Tingo delivers healthcare using its agency network with Nigerian farmers to deliver healthcare, in collaboration with HMOs.
Challenges of operating in Nigeria…
Power, inefficiency in government offices, unstructured capital market. But Nigeria remains a profitable place, we have to scratched the surface of business in Nigeria.