Close to $900 million was spent by Nigerian banks on IT infrastructure in 2013 as banks compete for dominance by leveraging on technology.
A huge amount of the money was spent on bandwidth and infrastructural upgrade to meet demands of the changing business requirement and up the game in a market becoming more sophisticated.
Nigeria has a cashless policy that limits cash transactions. Also, a bevy of services have appeared on the scene driven solely by online tools. Banks are major partners of these service providers, including taxi operators, restaurant, and online shops among others.
But banks need not spend so much said Mr. Martins Ndigwe, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Mayakorp Nigeria Limited, an indigenous IT company that specializes in risk management, security and compliance solutions. A worried Ndigwe said the cost of deploying infrastructures could be lower if financial institutions adopted a shared service platform he initiated some years ago which involves the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) building a data warehouse for all banks.
“You can imagine how much these banks are spending on IT infrastructure. The IT spends last year for all of the banks was close to $900 million. There was a time we started a shared service initiative that would have been an opportunity for a quick data bank in Nigeria,” Ndigwe told IT Edge News in Lagos.
But despite this huge spending on IT infrastructure; Ndigwe said Nigeria is still playing catch-up to foreign players in the IT sector in Nigeria.