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How Nigeria can benefit from data centre market, by experts

Chinenye Anuforo

Experts in the Nigerian information and communication technology (ICT) industry have suggested ways by which Nigeria can economically benefit from the potential revenue of global data centre market.

According to the experts at the NITRA Breakfast Meeting with three Data Centres CEOs in Lagos, the rate at which organisations in Nigeria host their data abroad is robbing the Nigerian economy billions of naira in capital flight annually.

Specifically, the president, Medallion Communications Limited, Mr. Ikechukwu Nnamani, pointed out that one way to benefit from the data centre market is by localisation of content.

He also pointed out that there will be a reversal in payment structure, which would boost the country’s balance of payment and cash flow as others will be paying to the country for data access, as against the present prevailing position where data is hosted outside the country.

He said, “Currently, when people pay for Internet bandwidth, what they don’t understand is that they are paying for the access to content to wherever that content is located. So, if the content is located here in Nigeria, people will have to pay the country for accessing her content instead of us constantly paying to access content abroad.”

Nnamani also noted that, apart from the financial benefit localization of content would give, Nigerians will have better user experience than those accessing it from outside of the country because, “the closer you are to the host, the higher the quality”.

On his part, the General Manager of MainOne’s MDXi Data Centers, Mr. Gbenga Adegbiji, said there is a lot of an economic benefit accruable from hosting data locally. Highlighting the challenges of data centre operations across the African continent, he identified low demand as the biggest constraint, due to offshore data hosting of content.

“With improved access to Internet services on the continent, leading content providers are finding that the high latency experienced with serving Africa from offshore does not effectively engage the market and have started establishing beachheads for content in data centres on the continent,” he said.


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