By Daser David
“Some people have blithely dismissed growth in markets like China and India, saying Silicon Valley will always be the hub for tech: that everyone will come to us. Wake up: Because the numbers are showing money and talent is increasingly going elsewhere” — Sarah Lacy
I was having a discussion with someone some days ago about how I feel there are gaps that need to be filled, in the entirety of the ecosystems in Plateau state.
We are currently experiencing a lot of growth lately, not only are small companies emerging, we are spanning core industries to the likes of construction, entertainment, agriculture, health and now technology. Young men are beginning to have visions and there is a strong yearning for intellectual capital. To say we are blessed with lots of young men with MBA & Ph.D. from institutions across the world would be an over-emphasis.
On the side of the government, we are witnessing few young men and women who are interfacing with the innovation community and learning a lot. To say their pieces of advice are being considered by the old men in power is what I can’t juxtapose but to make an attempt in taking the positive out of this scenario is to say the future looks bright given that they have the chance at the helm of affairs. Who said Plateau state is not ripe for a youthful takeover?
“We are still embattled by the anti-growth factors found deep within our culture.”
Despite all of these noticeable growths, we are still embattled by the anti-growth factors found deep within our culture. What is wrong with a 25-year-old becoming a multimillionaire? What is wrong with 35 years old becoming the governor of the state? What is wrong with a 27-year-old bagging a Ph.D.? What is wrong with an indigenous company owned by a young man winning a multi-million Naira contract from the state government? While these are normal in other climes it is far-fetched here.
We forget often the sky is so wide that it can accommodate everyone. We instead should begin to get a place in the skies than throw debris at each other. For instance, there are a lot of untapped opportunities in the agriculture value chain that need our attention; we need disruptors in mining, health, and education. Our farmers are being cheated by middlemen from outside this state who make almost 300% profit on agriculture yields produced in this state, this phenomenon, if not stopped, would discourage young people from delving into agriculture. So why not consider building an agriculture commodity exchange platform to curb that or build commercial storages or better still connect these farmers to their buyers?
“Why not consider building an agriculture commodity exchange platform to curb that or build commercial storages or better still connect these farmers to their buyers?”
One other drawback in our contemporary Plateau is the lack of opportunities to keep the talents we breed and so we have lost so many assets through capital flight. The entertainment industry has suffered from this and the likes of the Jos Chilling Team is working towards bringing succor to the lost glory of our entertainment scene.
Another missing piece is our lack of connectivity, we are so disconnected that we operate in singleton and this has resulted in our delayed growth as a state. Collaboration among businesses and startups would give us a competitive edge against other businesses operating outside the state. At nHub we are undoing the capital flight problem by creating opportunities to keep tech talents within the states and also attract the best of brains from Lagos and other states to the extent of getting them free accommodation within the Jos with the long run expectation of transforming Jos into the best outsourcing hub in Africa.
A connection is being created through collaboration with other industry stakeholders like enjoying some level of financing from Blue whale’s Microfinance Bank and also having Blue whales Transport move our techies and talents across the state whenever an event calls for it at no cost.
There is a need also to connect with the construction companies like Maysu as well as other companies and startups within the state that are doing great. Collaboration helps startups to grow and companies to extend their reach. For instance, there was a time we couldn’t afford our staff monthly salaries and Blue whales Microfinance Bank came to the rescue by granting us a non-collateralised facility that enabled us to offset these liabilities for a long period of time before we picked up.
However, our efforts should be focused on connecting with other companies or startups either as a big brother or as a benefactor. Blue whales is supporting the innovation movement on the Plateau through its banking and transport organ and I see it a feat worthy of emulation by all companies and startups on the Plateau. We need to be connected to grow into global prominence.
Thanks to Blue whales transport for connecting with the tech ecosystem on the #JosTechOnWheels event taking place today.
Daser David is founder/CEO of nHub