Technology and Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook has brought Nigeria a long way

Posted on September 04 2016 , at 06:55 pm
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  • A very long way.

Zuckerberg and Osinbajo
Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg meeting Vice President Yemi Osinbajo

We’ve come a long way.

Pictures of Pope Zuckerberg in Nigeria brought back a flood of memories. There was a time in the recent past when technology and access to technology was not as common as it is now.

In 2001, I was on a three month Internship program with NCR in Lagos. NCR was then the largest manufacturer of ATMs in the world. At that time, ATMs were not commonplace in Nigeria.

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The bank with the largest network of ATMs then was SGBN (Societe Generale Bank Nigeria). They had ATMs in all their Lagos branches (Ikeja, Apapa, Marina, Victoria Island) and in other parts of the country.

Equity Bank also had a couple of ATMs at their headquarters in Marina, Ikoyi Club and the local airport. First Bank had an ATM at their Marina headquarters. There were a couple of other ATMs at some airports (Lagos, Abuja, Kaduna) and at Nicon Noga Hilton (now Transcorp Hilton). 

Memories stand out.

An adult asked me what the company I ‘worked for’ did. I remember describing ATMs as simply as I could in Yoruba – (ti e ba ki card sinu e , owo ma jade) i.e machines that would give you money if you put a card in them.

READ: Return of the Mark: Zuckerberg returns to Nigeria

I remember the person exclaiming, ‘blood of Jesus, that is a sign of the anti-Christ’. Back in the day, technology and the concept of the Antichrist were synonyms. 🙂

At the end of the internship, I had to go back to University of Ibadan to defend my work experience. It was popularly called I.T defence.

Most of my classmates talked about computer assembly and repairs and I noticed that the lecturer/ officials presiding nodded their heads to show understanding of the subject.

I thought to myself, ‘why put my academic success in jeopardy by telling them of some strange money vomiting machines that are going to bring the world to an end?’

In five minutes, I changed my presentation and talked about time spent doing imaginary computer repairs.

We have come a long way.

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