Nairametrics| Tech giants, Microsoft through Microsoft Azure’s Blockchain-as-a-Service has approved the construction of two Data Centers in two South African cities of Johannesburg, and Cape Town, at the expense of Nigeria. This was announced Senior Program Manager, Michael Glaros, at a forum in Lagos. High among the list of reasons why Nigeria was snubbed include poor power generating capacity, harsh business climate, foreign exchange volatility and high level corruption.
With Nigeria not able to grab any of the data centers, the implications for the ICT industry and the Nigerian economy at large is great. Here are some of the most important of those losses.
- A $30 billion investment: With each of the centers reportedly worth $15 billion, a potential $30 billion in foreign investment was missed. This takes on added significance considering the harsh economic climate. Similarly, international analysts have continually associated any permanent improvement in the economy with increased foreign investment.
- Over 15,000 jobs: The centers have the capacity of employing 15,00 Nigerians- 5,000 directly and 10,000 indirectly. With the unemployment rate remaining alarmingly high, this opportunity to reduce it was lost.
- Development of the knowledge economy: Microsoft announced that for the first time, it was going to deliver a complete, intelligent Microsoft Cloud for the first time from Data Centres located in Africa. Sighting these centers in any country will imply significant development of the knowledge economy of the country. Nigeria could have been that country.
- Diversification of the economy: With so much being said about how Nigeria must extract itself from its dependence on oil, this would have been one of such opportunities to do so. The Executive Vice President, Cloud and Enterprise Group, Microsoft Corp, Scott Guthrie, himself, said the growing demand for cloud services in Africa and their ability to be a catalyst for new economic opportunities. Nigeria lost those opportunities.
To consistently lose investment opportunities to reasons cited earlier must be a pain in the side of the average Nigerian on the street who really feels the pinch. However, the Federal Government seems to be paying only lip service to correcting these issues. Only recently, Samsung also snubbed Nigeria in favor of Egypt and South Africa for the construction of their manufacturing plants. Thus, very soon, we will have to pay export duties to fellow African nations for services that could have been produced in Nigeria.