Bloomberg News

Google Seeks to Boost Nigerian Internet Access and Expand Office

October 24, 2011

Oct. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Google Inc. says it is hiring in Nigeria and working with the government, businesses and universities to expand internet access in Africa’s most populous nation.

The Mountain View, California-based company, owner of the world’s most popular search engine, wants to tap unmet demand in the West African nation where Google estimates about 15 percent of the 150 million people use the internet, said Juliet Ehimuan, Google’s country manager for Nigeria.

“There’s a lot of latent demand, people who would get online if they could afford it or get access,” Ehimuan said in an Oct. 20 interview. Another 30 percent of the population may be ready to use the internet if costs are cut and infrastructure improved, she said.

Google has been operating an office in Lagos, the commercial capital, for two years and now has nine employees, Ehimuan said. With offices in South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Senegal and Ghana, the company isn’t yet focused on producing sales from Nigeria, sub-Saharan Africa’s second-largest economy and the continent’s biggest oil producer.

“We don’t have a specific date, but we are constantly reviewing” when the company will attempt to earn revenue from Nigeria, Ehimuan said. “Certainly not this year.”

--Editors: Karl Maier, Gordon Bell

To contact the reporter on this story: Chris Kay in Abuja at ckay5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Gavin Serkin at gserkin@bloomberg.net


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