Nigeria and Nigerians face a reputational challenge in the global technology arena, and we urgently need to counter the unfair narrative surrounding Nigerians in the tech sector.
GridCode Technology offers a unique opportunity for Nigeria to shine on the global stage. It’s a homegrown technological solution that addresses a crucial infrastructure problem, one that 75% of countries worldwide are still grappling with. This is a narrative you should be deeply interested in.
Your approach as a minister in seeking citizen input for policy formulation is commendable and groundbreaking. You’ve opened a new door in governance by using social media as a platform for direct engagement, where leaders actively seek opinions rather than being solely on the receiving end of demands.
Your commitment to this engagement is setting a high standard, and it’s apt that you’ve chosen NIPOST as a testbed, considering its historical struggles to modernize.
NIPOST has faced numerous challenges, including attempts to commercialize assets, partnerships with foreign companies, and efforts to license logistics/delivery firms. The common thread in these struggles is addressing, the core issue. If we get addressing right, it will lay the foundation for all other commercial services. Even when GridCodes, a globally acclaimed digitally navigable addressing innovation, emerged from Nigeria, NIPOST missed the opportunity.
GridCodes is now thriving in Rwanda, operating as iPOSITA, Nigeria’s equivalent of NIPOST. Perhaps, Minister Bosun, you can rectify this situation. What are the key obstacles?
Providing accurate, digitally navigable addresses for all buildings falls under a nation’s responsibility, tied to land rights. Countries like the UK and the US achieved address codification over several decades and at significant costs. Emerging nations like Nigeria can’t afford this luxury. This is where disruption enters the picture, much like how wireless technologies replaced cabled telephone lines.
GridCodes offers Nigeria a chance to leapfrog traditional methods, delivering superior address codification, even better than the UK’s PostCodes. Every codified address can become operational immediately, and with proper execution, the entire country can be covered in 12-18 months.
We’re now in 2023, and this could have been accomplished by 2020/21. Regrettably, opportunities were missed, well-documented in the public domain.
Starting in 2018, when the Founder of GridCodes raised concerns about a contract with a British competitor, the Digital Addressing Council, under VP Osinbajo’s leadership, evaluated the system for national adoption. It passed all evaluations but hit roadblocks. It’s a common global knowledge that the military-industrial complex often fosters innovations that contribute to a nation’s GDP.
In this case, the founder of GridCodes, a retired Nigerian Air Force officer, is well-respected in the industry. The GridCode Technology is widely seen as the solution.
Minister Bosun, here’s a solution that can address multiple challenges. The ball is in your court.”