Efritin continues operation in Nigeria

Efritin continues operation in Nigeria

Last week, news broke that Nigeria classified website, Efritin.com is shutting down operations in its Nigerian offices. There were speculations that the closure might be related to various mismanagement allegations leveled against senior management officers of the Nigerian office. However, in an interview, CEO of Saltside Technologies, owners of Efritin.com, Nils Hammer said while it

Last week, news broke that Nigeria classified website, Efritin.com is shutting down operations in its Nigerian offices. There were speculations that the closure might be related to various mismanagement allegations leveled against senior management officers of the Nigerian office.

However, in an interview, CEO of Saltside Technologies, owners of Efritin.com, Nils Hammer said while it is true that the classified site has retrenched all its employees in Nigeria ( about 50 of them), the site will continue to operate and will be run from outside the country

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“It is incorrect to say that we are closing and pulling the plug. What we are doing, is to sharply reduce our investment in Nigeria, which means that all staff has had to leave. But, it does not mean the site will close. Efritin will be run from a distance. We have teams in several locations which will help out,” he said.

This seems true as ads can still be posted on the site ( I did post one). However, the much touted selling point; verification, has not been done. I am yet to be verified after 48 hours.

efritin

It should be remembered that the classified site entered the scene at a somewhat propitious time, riding on the misfortune of its major competitor, OLX, in the Orekoya Nanny kidnap saga. Efritin came and righted the lapses of OLX by introducing a verification model that allowed them verify users and ads before they get posted on the site. This however no longer seem possible giving the absence of their physical presence in Nigeria. This can only mean a gradual exit of an unprofitable business venture.

On why the company might be closing down despite the fanfare it has enjoyed in the classified scene, Nils Hammar revealed that several signs like viability of investment, data cost and the economy eventually lead to the decision to shut down the Nigerian office.

“In Nigeria, we have in recent times not really gone (full-out) for a market leading position. (Instead) we tried to find evidence that the investment will be worthwhile. We made an honest attempt to make it work in Nigeria. We saw many promising signs, but at the same time (we noted) it was not the right time to focus and invest big in Nigeria. A marketplace is a micro cosmos of the general economy. If the economy as a whole slows down, then the classifieds can be hurt. The economy of Nigeria has been in a bad shape the last couple of years.

“Another aspect of Nigeria, is that the data cost is very high, which makes it tougher to run our kind of business there,” said Hammar.

Oladipo Oladepo
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