By Anthony Emeka Nwosu
And the winner is… Efe!
That was the announcement made over the weekend on Big Brother Naija, watched by millions of viewers, globally. Behind the backdrop of this announcement, PayPorte logo and insignia stand boldly and proudly. Don’t just get it twisted, PayPorte is a Nigerian firm. The reality show Big Brother Naija (#BBNaija) has come and gone and the winner has been announced, but, it wasn’t a smooth sailing adventure for the organisers and sponsor.
In a country that is highly ‘moralistic’ and religious, criticisms had trailed the BBN show ranging from moral bankruptcy to regulators ineptitude, wastage of money and man hours. One thing that these critics didn’t see is that Nigerian firms like Heritage Bank, Legend beer, and online firm, PayPorte came to the rescue! How would it look like, if the show was shown from South Africa, due to the high cost of operating expenditure in Nigeria as the organisers argued?
Mr. Bassey Eyo, CEO, PayPorte Global Systems, explains his company’s sponsorship thus: “As a brand, PayPorte believes in bringing out the creativity and talents that abound in Nigerians, so, the Big Brother Nigeria platform is an opportunity for these talented Nigerians to harness their talents and make it a reality”. As a Nigerian owned company, part of our Corporate Social Responsibility is to enhance people’s lives and give them reasons to believe in themselves”.
This singular outing has put the Nigerian firms in global limelight. PayPorte is on the path of being recognized as the new eBay and has also demonstrated that the online shopping experience in Nigeria has come of age!
In a country that is wondering about how to get her “groove” back through diversification, anything from crude oil is welcome. PayPorte sponsorship sits well as the new alternative economic affirmation outside of commodity export.
PayPorte may well be Nigeria’s answer to America’s Amazon, eBay, Asos and others that have made inroads into the Nigerian online market, where the government appears to have little grasps in terms of regulation and protection for the budding indigenous firms.
While PayPorte leveraged on the global brand visibility of the BBN, most other Nigerian ICT firms didn’t see the need to collaborate with the online shopping firm to showcase their products in the show. They missed the opportunity for ‘covert advertising.’ This brings the point home that Nigerian indigenous IT firms are yet to fully grasp the concept of brand visibility and awareness. A vacuum that PayPorte saw and cashed on.
So what has PayPorte gained in spite of the criticisms of morality merchants? Good publicity and also the wide brand acceptance. Even if it appears that critics of BBN raised thunder, they were actually doing PayPorte a great publicity run. They were helping to boost a brand expansion that may have been most unlikely without the BBN.
With youths watching and texting; more than N400 million spent on SMS alone by captivated BBN watchers, the demographics tended to favour the sponsor. Now, they know PayPorte, the online commerce king who brought BBN into their hands. To the young people who are categorized today as the “digital natives”, introducing PayPorte’s online shopping solution won’t be much a problem. The dynamics of a digital transaction are well understood by these people and shopping online can be termed as “cool”. A global brand has been made out of the show. Local content and Nigerian-made goods will be showcased to the global community.
There’s business even when the show is termed nasty and ‘unNigerian.’ PayPorte saw that and grabbed it. If Big Brother Naija has raised several debates about morality, what is right or not; it has not dented the ‘Big Plus’ for PayPorte’s image and business.
More than anything else, BBN has been able to shed further light on how so ‘under-infrastructure’ we have become and how leadership has become so inept and bereft of developmental ideas. Most importantly, BBN raised the poser for the government to sit up, build infrastructure and get the economy moving again; or else, we would all wake up one day and realise we need to move Aso Rock to Accra to even function befittingly as the seat of government for Nigerians.
What PayPorte has proven is the true Nigerian spirit to see good business and beat through the agony of doing business in a ‘generator’ economy and be counted among the brands that matter.
Interestingly, Efe (Ejeba Efe Michael), the BBN winner testify to this: the power of cutting through the Nigerian mess to prevail and do the triumphantly good. When you celebrate Efe, have it in mind also that a Nigerian online platform is now recognized globally. Its name is PayPorte.