Why Nigeria needs indigenous instant messaging app –Ayeni –

Why Nigeria needs indigenous instant messaging app –Ayeni – The Sun Nigeria

By Louis Ibah

Indigenous firm, Lets Talk I.T and Telecommunications Company, is on the verge of launching Nigeria’s first instant messaging application, known as Lets Talk.

The product comes in response to National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) call on indigenous companies to make a foray into the communication space to provide social media platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Tik Tok  to Nigerians.

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In this interview, its Chief Operating Officer (COO), Ms Folashade Ayeni, provides insight on why it is important that Nigeria, has its own instant messaging applications, homegrown and indigenous to its people.

Excerpts:

My background and birth of Lets Talk

My name is Ms Folashade Ayeni, I am a graduate of Law and also an advanced degree holder of Mass Communication from the University of Lagos. I am the Chief Operating Officer of Lets Talk I.T & Telecommunications Company. Our company has developed an instant messaging application called LetsTalk which will be launched hopefully  by the third quarter of this year.

Lets Talk was created to meet a need that Nigerians and Africans have identified already-reliable, secure and private means of social communication.

On October 4, 2021, WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, due to the circumstances of their administrative inter-dependence and other reasons best known to the creators crashed all at once. No one was able to use those applications for a timeline of about six hours. Many people lost money, several people were not able to reach families, friends, relatives, neither could they do business normally, as a whole lot of people have taken business and relationship to the social media.

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That day the reality dawned on many of us, especially the smart/ tech savvy persons that really, whether it was intentional or not on purpose, we could lose everything we’ve worked for.

So, this further accelerated our already existing thoughts and efforts towards creating for Nigeria, our own social media platform; where Nigerians can have reliable, guaranteed communications, with utmost security and privacy, indigenous in every sense of the word to us in Nigeria and for us in Africa generally.

Why Nigeria must have its own messaging application

We believe communication is very germane to any country, and having our own created by and for Nigerians is very important. I can imagine how proud America is today of Facebook, Whatsapp, Instagram or how China is proud to own WeChat in its entirety for themselves, or Tik Tok, and a host of other ones.

Being the Giant of Africa, and pacesetter in so many things, having an advantage of population, why shouldn’t we have our communications channel that the whole of Africa can even benefit off?

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The fact that the ‘Lets Talk’ app is developed by Nigerians for Nigerians itself is one thing to be proud of. I remember a couple of years ago when we chanted the “buy Nigeria, grow Nigeria” phrase. Nigerians have to support Nigeria. So, I think that the first basis for the support and acceptance should be that it is Nigerian owed.

We can also categorically say that our unique proposition is to offer an application with every existing functionality and capacity of any chat App whatsoever but with an addendum of a strong guarantee of uncompromised data exchange policy and privacy. It is worthy of note that our Application is a multi-functional super application which provides primary and secondary value to subscribers.

The Digital Nigeria Magazine, one of the publications of the Ministry of Communication and Digital economy, in one of its articles made a submission on Nitda’s concerns of the Whatsapp’s privacy policy, and proffered advice to citizens to look out for alternative chat platforms that relatively safeguards their data exchange. NITDA in that article called for development of indigenous platforms that shares the privacy Values of Nigeria, applicable within the realities of our peculiarities as a nation. This and more is What Lets Talk is offering

Partnering regulatory authorities

I’ll tell you that our registration with National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) is duly concluded, having been  certified by all required sub-agencies under NITDA.  Registrations with Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC), NBC and other relevant agencies are also ongoing.

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Beyond registration, we also are looking at partnerships and collaborations with these agencies to push the Application, as it is undoubtedly the first indigenous instant messaging application.

Unique features of Lets Talk

There is a secondary stream to our application, which provides enterprise resource management, with portal and sub-portal management features for multi-industrial applications. This goes beyond the basic chat application features.

This is a stream where private and public organisations can key into to do businesses, they can monitor their employees, and do a lot more. It is more like having a portal inside another portal.

Imagine having a regulated and encrypted portal which will help in communication between agencies. That is what Lets Talk is providing. The App will also be available for download on Google Play or IOS.

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