How better digital mapping will boost Nigeria’s e-commerce and ridesharing businesses
On the long list of practical challenges with running a business in Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, logistics rarely makes it near to the top. Instead, some of the most common complaints are around problems with power shortages, talent recruitment and corruption.
But poor logistics infrastructure is a downside that’s a debilitating part of doing business in Nigeria, particularly in Lagos, the nation’s commercial hub. An already poor road network—which serves a congested city with limited urban planning, particularly in residential areas—has been exacerbated by decades without maintenance.
It means even the most basic home delivery business in Nigeria requires a very hand-on local approach. Trying to locate an address in large swathes of Lagos, especially outside the commercial districts, typically involves stopping and asking for directions several times. This is because of everything from inconsistent house numbering to a lack of street names. The lack of comprehensive mapping has been a challenge for modern local businesses in e-commerce like Jumia and Konga and ride-sharing companies like Uber and Taxify.