Here Come the Giants

By Thompson, Jato | African Business, July-August 1994 | Go to article overview

Here Come the Giants


Thompson, Jato, African Business


With over 1,000 computer companies in Nigeria, the industry has indeed come of age. Hardly is there anything about PCs - from maintenance, repair, installation to mainframes - that cannot be carried out in the country.

Many computer companies have sprouted up in recent years but the real market leaders are just 35 companies accounting for 70% of the market.

They include NCR Nigeria Plc which has operated in the country for 45 years. NCR is a publicly quoted company with 60% of its shares owned by the NCR Corporation of Ohio, USA, while the remaining 40% are owned by over 5,000 Nigerians. The company which majors in IBM products, markets and supports System 3000 - a family of open, general purpose computers ranging from small laptops to mainframes, Utilising UNIX, 005 and 0/52 operating systems.

There is also Inlaks Computers representing the UNISYS Corporation of USA, with over 120 installations nationwide. Inlaks has operated in Nigeria for 10 years and has a long clientele. This includes the Federal Ministry of Health, Nigeria Airforce, Police Affairs, Union Bank Plc and Afribank.

Chams (Nigeria) Limited is a newcomer with a strong marketing strategy. Established in 1985, it specialises in the sales, maintenance and installation of IBM personal computers, company systems, Gateway 2000 PCs, Apple Macintosh systems and their peripherals. Chams which represents the Chams Worldwide Corporation of USA, has also a good back-up service and specialises in local area networks, micro-mainframe links and wide area networks.

Alakrity (Nigeria) Limited is another small but major player in the nation's fast growing computer industry. It distributes a wide range of off-line and in-line UPS to combat the incessant power failures in Nigeria. The company also markets computer hardware, software and accessories. This includes IBM PC systems, Hewlett Parkard printers - laser jet and EPAN series.

ICL (Nigeria) Limited remains a leader in the industry with a full range of products from business machines to PCs. Its ICL Ergo client server is a unique solution for client-server networks. The company's affiliate in Zimbabwe was the first computer firm to win the prestigious ISO 9001 quality certificate for quality systems.

ICL is one of the largest computer vendors in Nigeria. It recently unveiled a range of 19 new servers. Officials say the new servers mix processors with the 486 and pentium chips from Intel and Supersparc from Sun Microsystems.

According to the officials, the new client-server systems simplify computer usage and allow the user to get the most out of his investment in computers. …

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