Nigeria will drive West African operations, says Asseco chief
By Kokumo Goodie, Lagos, Nigeria
European software giant Asseco Group has decided to open shop in Nigeria in order to drive its presence in the sub-region from the country.
The CEO of Asseco Nigeria and its West African Representative, Simon Melchior, said Asseco Group had grown rapidly through the past decade and is now in over 40 countries with 17,000 employees worldwide.
According to him, the firm first ventured into the country approximately 18 months ago, following the visit of the Prime Minister of Poland to the country last year.
“Our Prime Minister’s visit to Nigeria was his first visit to Africa and similarly to him, we couldn’t envision having a presence in Africa without being established here in Nigeria. Following subsequent visits and meetings with public and private sector officials, we decided to invest in setting up a subsidiary in Nigeria,” he said at a press conference in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital.
He said the Asseco Group was a federation of independent successful IT companies. The group, which is quoted on the Warsaw, Tel Aviv and New York Stock Exchanges, focuses primarily on software development of vertical core solutions for a number of industries.
Managing Director of Asseco Nigeria, Adefolu Majekodunmi, said the focus of the Nigerian entity was to build a strong local expertise in four primary sectors - financial services (banking, insurance, capital markets), FMCG, utilities (power, water, gas) and public sector (health, defense, and social services).
He said: “The Asseco Group has significant experience developing solutions in the sectors we focus on. It has developed complex software solutions for major public and private sector institutions throughout Europe and the Middle East. Our unique strategy for Nigeria is to combine local software development in addition to providing our established knowhow. We are here for the long term and plan to be at the forefront of technology automation in the public sector and emerging private sector. We will build our growth on local added value in the form of local software development.”
A representative of the Federal Ministry of Power (FMP), Mrs. Emilomo Ogunboye, said the firm had, in conjunction with the FMP, organised a series of technology workshops this year, adding that a government team and owners of the power plants had visited Poland too, to see things for themselves.
She said, “At the request of the Honorable Minister of Power, the first workshop on software technology for the power distribution sector was held in Abuja in May 2014. A subsequent and more detailed workshop occurred last week in Poland. This was extremely successful and included a very insightful visit to Tauron, the largest power distribution company in Poland using Asseco software to manage the billing and revenue collection of over 5.3 million customers”. It was said that the participating Nigerian power distribution companies were extremely impressed with the passion shown by the project management team of Tauron on the success of the Asseco solution. She ended by saying, “Asseco has proved to be a global heavyweight in power sector software.”
Melchior said the firm was focused on growing Asseco Nigeria to become the No.1 technology company in the country and the hub for the group’s expansion in the West Africa sub-region.