From Amara Justice, Lagos
The Group Executive Director of Bua Group, Kabiru Rabiu, has introduced a new Technology Application: Hollaport, a local payment and messaging mobile application, the first of its kind in Nigeria.
Hollaport, recently launched in an event in Lagos is a multi-layered messaging and financial technology platform on which people can send and receive money using their phone contacts.
Other features on the App include airtime top-up, cable, electricity and data subscription, and paycode – a technology that enables recipient withdraw cash from an ATM without the need to have a card or bank account.
Rabiu, who is the founder of the App noted that financial inclusion is a major issue in Nigeria, with over half of the adult population being unbanked and only a fraction of the banked using technology in their processes.
Seeing this disconnect, Hollaport Technologies aims to reduce the learning curve associated with mobile applications and has taken time to develop a lifestyle tool that can fit in all areas of life, while maintaining ease-of-use, he stated.
At an event attended by the Nigerian technology players, the media, friends and family, Rabiu explained that the journey of the App started about two years ago and was borne out of the need to ease transaction and increase financial inclusion in Nigeria.
He explained that Nigeria has what it takes to produce these technology applications, but that whatever we produce is foreign, hence the need for a local application that can be maintained here to ease financial transactions.
His words: “Today we’re producing here locally in Nigeria by Nigerians for Nigerians. For us it gives us not only great excitement but seeing what is possible, what can be done in this Country. All these big technology companies that we see out there it is not that they have special skills or that they are things we cannot do; yes we have our own issues and challenges with respect to infrastructure and skills and so on and so forth but that will not make it impossible for us to be able do these things.
“So when we started the journey of this app we really struggled especially with getting the right skills to be able to develop the app locally. Most of the local applications companies you see out there are not built here but outside the Country and imported here; yes they work but whenever you have small issues with them somebody needs to go and fix them in India, Germany and most of these places. Personally I believe that has to do with the issue of not having the skills locally because if you build something outside it will be difficult for the Country to have such skills.”
Also speaking at the event, Hollaport’s General Manager, Micheal Olowojesiku, said “the question has never been one of when, but of how and this is the gap we intend to fill in the Nigerian market.”
“He noted that over 85 per cent of Nigerian adults own a mobile device, 103 million have active internet subscriptions, and a large percentage of this data size have a presence on social media. Hollaport aggregates instant messaging features with financial technology to ensure the App is as relevant as it is functional,” he said.