Nigeria stands a chance to be one of the largest revenue earners from the global cloud market valued at $1.7 billion in 2020 if all its businesses host locally.
This is according to the Chief Executive Officer of Cloudflex Limited, Mr. Aderemi Adejumo.
Speaking at a tech forum organised by the Nigeria Information Technology Reporters Association (NITRA) in Lagos, Adejumo said Nigeria was currently one of the three African countries, including South Africa and Kenya, that are major players in the cloud market. He, however, noted that Nigeria’s share of the market was insignificant as 95 per cent of the country’s data is still being hosted outside the country.
“It is estimated that the Nigeria cloud hosting market is worth between $100 million and $450 million (N50 billion and N200 billion). But more than 95 per cent of that is with AWS, Azure and Google Cloud platforms, which are outside of Nigeria,” he said.
According to him, embracing local hosting would grow the economy, empower Nigerian youth, which accounts for 60 per cent of the population and increase job creation. He said local hosting would also encourage the advancement in technology, increase local investment, technology infrastructure growth.
“Technology is an enabler and Cloud Computing is the new oil. Development and advancement in technology and cloud computing will accelerate Nigerians regional relevance and more importantly the leadership of Nigeria in the region and Africa at large,” he noted. While noting that the data centre market was vibrant and developing in Nigeria, he said Rack Centre, one of the leading data centre operators in the country, has had a $250 million investment and expanding its capacity.
He added that African Data Centre – Liquid Telecom – was also spending $100 million to build several data centres in Nigeria.
“This serves as a promising future for local hosting and cloud hosting. And there are more plans in the works to provide more data centre capacity in the country. “Google and Facebook are in the process of building subsea cabling along the west African coast. This bodes well for the cost of the internet and it will surely stimulate growth,” he added.
Earlier, while also advocating for local hosting at the forum, the Chief Executive Officer of Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria (IXPN), Mr. Muhammed Rudamn, said, “we need to always remember that Nigeria has the population to grow any business of its choice. “We need to focus and plan on how to develop our ICT infrastructure and harness the assets to unlock the potential of our huge population.
“As you are aware, data is the new oil, usually coined as ‘Data is the King.’ The reality is that data is the economic engine of the Internet. With billions of US dollars invested annually across the globe towards cloud infrastructure by private and public entities, Nigeria must strive to become the hub for Internet content in Africa, not just content consumers.” According to Rudman, local hosting is critical for any country that wishes to develop its internet infrastructure and empower its citizens as well as ensure national data sovereignty.
“Nigerian government realisation of cloud localisation brought about the National Cloud Computing Policy by NITDA in 2019, which is aimed at promoting the migration of National Data to the local cloud to achieve 30 per cent by the end of 2024. “Some years back the Federal Government of Nigeria also set up Galaxy Backbone PLC, a company empowered to provide Internet and hosting services for government Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs),” he said.
Rudman added that local hosting in Nigeria would reduce the huge capital flight, adding that reduction in capital flight would also lead to a higher quality of service as local hosting enables websites to run about three times faster than those hosting overseas because of ultralow latency.
“Hosting of content locally will further strengthen the cybersecurity of the country, as the passing of data between local networks would be within our national borders. It will also ensure business continuity as Nigeria is dependent on submarine cables when hosting internationally. These submarine cables are prone to damages by passing ships or due to natural disasters such as Tsunamis which will mean a disruption to information flow,” he said.