Niyi Yusuf

Niyi Yusuf

Managing Director Nigeria, Accenture
Large multinational companies are playing a much greater role in Nigeria, including and reaching far beyond the IT sector.

How would you assess ICT and the digitization process today in Nigeria?

NIYI YUSUF In the last two years, there has been significant demand for cost management in various areas. There are clients that have asked us to examine their technology costs and see how they can change from the CAPEX model to OPEX model. They want to rationalize a number of applications so that they can reduce costs as well. Such cost management solutions are a highly attractive service. Our experts work with clients on their procurement spend and review their procurement models to consolidate and gain more volume. Cost is a major area that we have worked on. For other organizations, a key area of interest has been in analytics, namely trying to gain more data that will improve their decision-making and provide more insight about their clients. The banking sector is at the forefront even though banks have non-performing loan issues that they are trying to work out. That has been a major growth area in terms of demand for our services. After banking, there is the consumer goods sector. When looking to the future I see prospects coming from Dangote Refinery and Petrochemical complex. It is the largest investment, and it is exciting in terms of what can happen in the next few years. I expect banks to continue to comprise a large portion of demand with a focus on digital.

OLAKUNLE OLORUNTIMEHIN There is a great deal of awareness in terms of digitization in Nigeria, and together with our peers, we have played a huge role in enabling this awareness by sharing reports such as the latest Cisco Virtual Networking Index 2017 and the World Economic Forum's Global Technology Readiness report, which we sponsor, amongst others. With that comes the responsibility to make sure that we offer Nigeria the opportunity to be able to absorb skills for adopting digitization as well as address security concerns that encompass connectedness. This year, we added Internet of Things (IoT) and security courses to our Networking Academy as a means to play our part. We are at the forefront of digital transformation, and one of the things that gives us leverage is the amount of networks we have built in the time we have been in Nigeria. Most of the foundations of Nigeria's internet connection, government or otherwise, are built on Cisco's network. This provides us the opportunity to provide insightful conversations with our customers as well as to be at the forefront of their transitions into the era of digitization and secure connectivity.

What is your relationship with the Nigerian government, and how do you bring ICT know-how to the economy and government?

NY We work with the banking industry to set up local data centers that will be up to Tier-3 standard. Nigerian brands can then use these centers to store their servers as opposed to storing data outside of the country. That is clearly one way of importing solutions from a technology standpoint. Accenture is also a champion of the Planning Commission of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group. We focus on growing that sector in Nigeria and that speaks to manufacturing in Nigeria. We also work with the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, by sponsoring training every year for a minimum of 50 SMEs working with that Lagos chamber. I am personally a mentor to three of those SMEs and share ideas with them.

OO I would call it a partnership that sees both parties benefitting from each other. As we go on that journey, the government tends to have a great deal of experience with the things that they need to deliver on, mainly social outcomes where there have been many discussions around the ease of doing business, competitiveness, and alignment with the World Economic Forum's expectations for global competitiveness. We have a great deal of experience working in different parts of the world helping governments to be more competitive and effective, so we have also been able to share that experience to fast track solutions locally. I see a lot of acceleration in terms of PPPs in ICT as the demand grows.