IT innovation has grown beyond talk in Nigeria. Indeed the tech landscape is changing. New startups and upstarts shape the future. Aminu Bakori is one of the young innovators and entrepreneurs upsetting and disrupting the status quo.
Interest is high and questions are numerous. The best answers come from those who are active in the innovation space. In this interview series, Jidaw talks to Aminu Bakori, youth innovator and founder of Payant. He offers authentic and revealing thoughts on Nigeria’s tech ecosystem.
Though involved in several initiatives, he is focused on equipping freelancers to participate in today’s expanding market. His unique approach to payment services in Nigeria is practical, innovative and meeting real needs. That is the Payant dimension!
Please lets know more about you. Who are you? What is your background? What are you into?
My name is Aminu Ibrahim Bakori. I’m from Bakori local government of Katsina state Nigeria. I live in Zaria, Kaduna state, where I have spent most of my life. I schooled here from Nursery school to Primary to Secondary and up to University (Ahmadu Bello University) where I obtained a BSc. in Statistics(2015). I’m the Founder/CEO of Friendstie Concept. A software development company that specializes in building custom software solutions for individuals and businesses. I founded Friendstie Concept while i was in school in 2013 – I was in the 200 Level.
When did you first become interested in Computers? What spurred your interest in Information Technology?
I’ve had access to computer right from my early age, thanks to my primary school where computer classes where offered in Labs at that timr. Personally, I have also had a personal computer at home. In university, I actually took all my elective courses from computer science – I won the Best programmer award on graduation from the department.
Which areas of Information Technology interest you the most? And why?
Information Technology is a wide topic.
To streamline a little bit I can say I’m passionate about Fin Tech, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data and the Web.
Tell us about what you’ve been doing before Payant?
Before Payant, I have worked on several things including but not limited to a social networking platform, an enterprise management software, an office communication tool with voice and video compatibility, and an operating system built using web technology.
What is Payant and your role in Payant?
Payant is a web-based invoice software that helps freelancers and SMEs to create beautiful invoices, automatically send payment reminders and get paid instantly into their bank accounts.
Payant was built out of the necessity of an invoicing platform for Nigerians.
Accepting payments from the international market has been a predominant problem in Nigeria/Africa.
This has been the limiting the ability of freelancers to participate in freelancing websites and SMEs to sell their products and services to the international market.
Even with the introduction of payment services in Nigeria, they are targeted towards developers building applications and not directly to the users.
These services are often too complicated to setup and do not provide instant payouts. Accepting payments is often discouraging due to high transaction cost.
We’ve built Payant to solve this problems by creating a platform that allows anyone to craft beautiful invoices and receive payments from any one around the world straight into his bank account the minute online payment is made.
Our transaction fees are unbeatable across Nigeria.
Payant was launched on the 1st of Jan, 2017.
I’m the Founder/CEO of Payant.
What are challenges young innovators and entrepreneurs like you face?
I think the major challenge we face is lack of direction due to the lack of mentorship. As such many great ideas fail due to mis management of ideas.
What excites you most about IT innovation in Nigeria?
I believe that IT Innovation is the backbone of solving most, if not all, of the problems we are facing in developing countries. The Nigerian Tech Ecosystem is just coming up and there is no better time to be in IT than this time. The Tech Bubble is exciting.
What advice will you give young people who are interested in innovation and entrepreneurship?
For me I always say that my little success story was due to three things: 1. Passion – I like what I do. If you don’t like IT don’t come towards it. 2. Patience – You need to be very patient while in IT or entrepreneurship, success does not come over night. NEVER GIVE UP! 3. Persistence – Do it again and again and again. It is better to fail fast and move on to something new.
What do you do for relaxation when not around computers?
I read books and watch movies.
What are your future plans and ambition?
I intend to continue pushing towards IT for now. I see a bright future ahead.
Jidaw wishes Aminu the best and thanks him for his time. Keep the fire burning!