The number of companies across the different sectors of the Nigerian economy adopting emerging technologies like the internet of things (IoT) has grown in recent times, according to expert view.
Executive Chairman of IoT Africa, Mr. Lare Ayoola, who made the disclosure in Lagos recently, said the rise in adoption of IoT in Nigeria, was due to increased awareness of the role IoT could play in the success of any business.
He listed the industries that are keen in the adoption of IoT to include agriculture, logistics, power, manufacturing, financial services, health and safety industry, real estate and importantly the oil and gas industry.
In recognition of its efforts in pushing the adoption of Internet of Things in Nigeria, Tranter IT the parent company of IoT Africa received the ‘Outstanding IoT Provider of the Year Award’ at the Titans of Tech awards ceremony, which was held recently in Lagos, Nigeria.
Internet of things refers to interconnection via the internet of computing devices embedded in everyday objects, enabling them to send and receive data. According to IoT Analytics’ latest update on the overall enterprise IoT market, spending on enterprise IoT solutions grew 12.1 per cent in 2020 to $128.9 billion.
Last year, IoT Africa, a subsidiary of Tranter IT, built the first phase of its IoT network. The technology is now in full deployment in states like Lagos which is fully covered with IoT networks, Ogun, Rivers, and the FCT.
“The good news is that the network has been very stable. We have tested it with numerous devices and we found out that the connectivity is excellent. We are about to move into the next phase where we will be covering the rest of the country and that will start within the next two to three months,” Ayoola said.
The growing adoption has seen IoT Africa sign mega-deals with operators in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry and would be announcing the deals very soon. The downstream oil industry is plagued with losses, risks, and theft. So they have been very keen on IoT because it can save them close to 30-40 percent of losses.
Beyond oil and gas, Ayoola said IoT also held prospects for financial services in terms of safety and security. For instance, most banks that have a smoke alarm system are not able to transmit information effectively when there is a fire outbreak. Even if they have an intrusion system, it would sound an alarm to security men that might be asleep before being transmitted to a central command centre so they could call for help. Also, many banks are not always aware that an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) has gone bad, they are not always aware that the batteries that provide the uninterrupted power supply are at a dangerously low level, Ayoola said.
“There was a case in one of the banks where there was a power outage and the UPS kicked in. The technician who knew how to start he generator was not available, and a staff tried to fill in. The generator did not start, the batteries in the UPS died, and the entire data center of the bank went down,” Ayoola said.
“It took them at least half a day to bring it back up. So they lost half a day’s worth of business. Had there been IoT sensors installed in that data centre to monitor the battery of the UPS, or monitor the supply of electricity from the PHCN and the generator, that catastrophe would have been averted. A signal would have been sent to the bank’s central command, and they would have sent someone physically to solve the problem. From that incident, they would have also had data to analyse and prevent that sort of problem in the future,” Ayoola further said.