Nigerian Businessmen Perplexed by Internet Communication Difficulties

[From the Vesperfire News Wire:] Nigerian businessmen are becoming increasingly mystified by their difficulties in exploiting the potential of the Internet to expand their business and make contacts with the rest of the world.

“We keep reading about the great communications potential of the Internet, but it never manifests,” complains Ighomuedafe Obadina, owner of “Gem of Nigeria” Textiles, a small but highly reputed exporter of specialty textiles in Lagos, Nigeria. “I am sending personal salutations to establish contact with potential customers, but it’s as if my e-mails never even get read. Even people I’ve done business with before by letter don’t respond.” He added, “I have tried to be exquisitely more polite and formal in my phrasing, but no help has this given me. I resorted even to dropping of names of important government officials I have worked with, but that only seemed to make it worse.”

Financial institutions seem particularly affected. “We were never able to communicate to arrange transactions, particularly monetary transfers. We gave up and returned to using paper orders and records via airmail. It’s faster and more reliable,” said Olamilekan Ogboyomi, International Transaction Specialist at First Nigerian Bank of Abuja.

The Nigerian government remains baffled by the complaints. One official told us, “We have had to upgrade our communications infrastructure several times, because a truly immense volume of e-mail traffic leaves our country daily. Yet our businessmen complain they never receive responses. It makes no sense.”