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Nigeria remains one of the most challenging environments for any entrepreneur to start up a business and thrive. The country is also a very difficult place to have a formal business-inclined relationship across the spectrum of associations between people – customer to customer, business to customers and to a large extent, business to business, despite the presence of a legal system that can intervene in the event of a contractual breakdown, and this causality is as a result of the absence of trust in the society. This paper is being written to identify the multiple systems the Nigerian Government presently use in establishing a citizen’s identity. To provide an analysis of these systems, including but not necessarily limited to – their strengths, weaknesses; To look for the opportunity to create a possible alternative system or initiate a better process that provides the necessary increase in accuracy and efficiency that can be achieved,using our approach. The paper identifies the fundamental cause of these challenges, after critical analysis, and profers an improvising solution that can work effectively within the Nigeria environment.





When Ebay was founded in 1995, it started as an online marketplace for buying and selling personal items in a very rudiment way by today’s standards – with no guarantee, no payment platform, no fee or 3rd party interaction. Critics thought it was a foolish idea, and expected a scenario where a seller will ship a bad item and the buyer in return, mail a bounced check.

eBay outgrew Pierre Omidyar, the CEO’s, personal account within 5 months and had to be moved to a business account. Buyers and sellers who became members of the online communinity were charged a small fee to participate on the platform. eBay continued to grow by leaps and bounds and “Omidyar in an interview told the New York Times that he had so many checks piling up at his door, he had to hire an assistance to open them all” (Wells, 2018). Pierre Omidyar is now worth roughly $11 billion.

Societies become more wealthy as the level of trust and cooperation between members of that environment increases. Ebay was able to grow in leaps and bounds because it was a business that was built based on trust, in an almost entirely trustworthy society.

But how was the United States able to develop the level of trust within its population? Over the years, societies in the western worlds, have been able to efficiently gather every single relevant information about an identity within its population. These information gathering are consistently cross-checked and updated, and even given score points, fundamentally to have accurate information about an individual and to be able to plan social welfare, but as a subset, to also ensure good behavior and citizenship.

An efficient information gathering on citizens is lacking in Nigeria and in effect, businesses are unable to flourish, thereby causing business-like citizen to citizen relationship to be grounded in so much distrust, dishonesty and bad faith.

Identity: Individual and Social Identity


For the vast history of man, humans lived in small groups of 50 that never grew past 150. Scientists believe that from a genetic stand point, we are only built to cooperate with as many people as we can know well. Everybody knew everyone. If you stole someone’s dinner, or did not defend the group against an enemy, everyone knew you and you will get punished.
“But when you start having strangers in the group, people you don’t know well, it means people can free ride and cheat in the group with impunity” (Azim, 2018). As societies start to expand in population, groups started experiencing cheaters within them, making the groups unable to self-sustain. The group needs a level of cooperation for it to act and work harmoniously, and this can only be achieved through the identification of people.

We often define ourselves internally with limited reference to others, and social identity is used to define a “person’s sense of who they are, based on their membership” (Tajfel, 1979) to that tribe or population.

“A person’s identity is defined as the totality of one’s self-construal, in which how one interprets oneself in the present expresses the continuity between how one interprets oneself as one was in the past and how one interprets oneself as one aspires to be in the future”; this lets us define some aspects of identity, for instance: “One’s ethnic identity is defined as that part of the totality of one’s self-interpretation made up of those dimensions that express the continuity between one’s understanding of past ancestry and one’s future aspirations in relation to ethnicity”.

“Group such as social class, family, football team or nation, which people belonged to were an important source of pride and self-esteem” (Tajfel, 1979).

There are many considerations that add toward the identity of an individual, and this can be classified in the following identity components:

  1. Socio-demographic characteristics– “Includes characteristics such as gender, age, ethnic group, household size, or employment status. It is based on the premise that demographic groups are relatively homogenous and lends itself easily to quantification, measurement and classification. Additionally, it is difficult to falsify unless a false identity is being used” (Dr. F, 2018).
  2. Benefit sought after– “The benefits desired from pursuing certain behaviour, including the underlying motivation. It focuses on common values and attitudes across cultural groups. It may be extremely difficult to observe and is not suitable to assess individual, rather than group, behavior” (Dr. F, 2018).
  3. Behaviour displayed – “In relation to the financial institution. That is, based on data resulting from actions of the account holders, such as the length of relationship with the bank, modes of payment and shopping preferences, product ownership, and contributions to political, religious, and charitable groups. An underlying assumption prevails that past or current behaviour offers the best predictor of future behaviour. It is very useful in anti-money laundering, but easy to falsify and often difficult to measure” (Dr. F, 2018).


The capacity to construct a profile for an identity using one or more of the above components, is how societies have been able to identify people, so as to create an enabling and a successful environment for them.



Data Collection and Identity Documents

In the United States, the US Passport document and the Social Securit ID can be legally used as national identification, however, the state-issued driver’s license or state-issued identity card, is what is mostly used as a means of identification, nationally.

There is nothing like the term official national identity card from a federal agency that is mandatory for all US citizens. The uniformity of driving in the United States makes the driver’s license, which is issued by each State, the unofficial national identity card.

“A driver’s license or the State ID card contains a wealth of private information. In addition to full name, date of birth, signature, and photograph, licenses and state ID cards typically bear one’s home address, color of the eye, gender, and height. Some states go beyond that, including natural hair color, weight, Social Security number, and fingerprints (the latter two being stored in the license or state ID’s barcode)” (Wong, 2014).

One point to note is that despite having federal jurisdiction, the social security card cannot verify an identity. They are essentially used to comply with Social Security payroll tax laws and to verify the match between the name of an identity and an assigned Social Security Number.


Secondary Identity Verification Documents

There are other secondary documents that can be used to establish the identity of a person, which are naturally unacceptable as a primary form of identification. However, they are also useful in obtaining a primary form of identification, when a primary documentation have been lost or stolen. “These other documents include:

  • The Internal identification card issued by one’s employer, university, or school
  • Voter’s registration card
  • Credit cards and debit cards
  • Proof of professional certification for members of regulated professions
  • Health insurance card issued by a private health insurance company, by Medicare, or by a government agency
  • Library cards
  • Membership or Loyalty cards issued by private companies such as, supermarkets, warehouse club stores, etc.
  • Utility bills, which are often used as proof of residence or address”.

Credit System

 Micro to Macro Impact of Credit on an Economy

From personal experiences, we have a general understanding of how credit works. We borrow money from the bank or other people, to purchase goods and services immediately, and then repay with interest at a later date. The immediate purchase could be, to buy a house, a car, or grocery shopping.

However, there are other agendas and different objectives which economic policymakers have, so as to create an impact on the broader economy.

“Instead of having to save for long time in order to obtain a big-ticket item like a house or a car, credit allows the borrower to have the item immediately, while using future earnings to make repayments over a period of time” (Butler, 2009). Economic policymakers understand that access to credit expands purchasing power, allowing people the ability to buy more things. The more transactions are conducted, the more the economy booms.

Economy policymakers understand that having easy credit access, is a main factor in growing economies. Unfortunately, 3rd world economies such as Nigeria, performs poorly in understanding and implementing such policies. According to the International Finance Corporation, which is the lending arm of the World Bank, “Lack of access to finance is a key constraint on the growth of small and medium enterprises in Sub-Saharan Africa, and thus also an important limitation on employment, economic growth and shared prosperity”.





In any case, for a society to credibly run a functioning credit system, there are two important subsystems that have to be reliably put in place – A credit bureau and a reliable system to background checks. From these two, any registered Consumer Reporting Agency can pull records and provide reliable information about an identity.


Credit Bureau

“Consumer credits are granted by banks, retailers and a variety of other lending institutions and this is a sector of the economy that has seen rapid growth over the last few decades”. Credit scoring, which is broadly applied in consumer lending, is a statistical approach that predicts the probability that a credit applicant will default or become delinquent. Credit analysis, which consists of the valuation of the financial history and financial statements of the applicant credit background, aims to evaluate the borrower’s probability of repayment, to determine the financial strength of the borrower, and to minimize the risk of non-payment to an acceptable level. Good borrowers with low credit risk would be granted a loan, while a high risk borrower would be denied” (Roszbach 2004)

“The procedure with which an applicant’s creditworthiness is being determined, was based on the 6 C’s namely Character, Capacity, Cash, Collateral, Conditions and Control” (Rose, 1993), which some experts find unreliable. However, this augmented demand for credit has since led to the innovative idea of a credit scoring system. The “credit scoring methods have produce more precise classifications in comparison with subjective judgmental assessments by loan officers” (Rosenberg et al. 1994). An advantage to this is that it makes credit scoring  more efficient, while also assisting lenders to review the borrowers’ creditworthiness more regularly.

“Credit scoring enhances and sometimes replaces the traditional subjective assessment, since it measures the credit risk of applicants much more accurately and quickly than the latter one. This method of measuring credit risk is mostly used in consumer loans, especially in credit cards but, nowadays, has become commonly used in mortgage lending and in complex business loans as well” (Roszbach 2004)


The United States has three major credit reporting agencies, and they are, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. “They were set up to help keep track of consumer and corporate spending and repayment history, thereby protecting creditors.

Prior to this, a consumer could default on a financial obligation and simply shift over to obtain financing from an unsuspecting creditor who had no way to know that the consumer was a credit risk” (Rotter, 2018). In the case of Nigeria, for instance, the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria, recently mentioned that about “350 Nigerians are responsible for more than 80 per cent of the $15bn debt portfolio of the company” (AMCON, 2015), out of 180 million people living in the country.








Ahmed Kuru, CEO AMCON, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, disclosed that “the 350 Nigerians or their businesses, owe a whopping $12bn of the $15bn debt profile of the company, an amount which is over 50 per cent of the 2018 Budget of Nigeria”.



These 350 individuals have registered businesses and are able to accumulate this substantial debt profile, by seeking loans from one bank to the other using the same credentials, and defaulting on these loans.

Thankfully, the advent of internet which as further eased efficient data collection and error correction, has reduced the ability to defraud creditors


Background Check

“There are different types of background checks, that contain overlapping results. For instance, a criminal background check can reveal sex offender crimes, but there are also sex offender-only background checks (Criminalwatchdog, 2018).

Below is a list of the different kinds of background checks:

  • Arrests
  • Convictions of felonies and misdemeanors
  • Court records (dockets, judgements, etc.)
  • Warrants
  • Sex offenses
  • Incarceration records

Background checks from a county are self explanatory, containing records of arrests and convictions within that particular county. Whereas State background checks, vary. Some states have just a handful of county records on file, while other states have all county records in their databases” (Criminalwatchdog, 2018).


Employment Screening

Employment verification exercise is the most common type of background check carried by people and organizations, and these checks produce the following kind of information

Criminal history, Character references, Social security number verification, Education verification.

One point to however note is, pre-employment verification checks differ depending on the need of the employer and the type of job involved. If an employer is seeking to hire an account officer or a Chief Finance Officer, running a credit check is ideal. Whereas, a parent seeking the services of a nanny will most likely specifically look for sex offenses.

Tenant Screening

“Landlords use this exercise to screen potential tenants in order to make sure they are responsible. This background check review criminal records, credit reports, and contact past landlords for personal references” (Criminalwatchdog, 2018)

In Nigeria, there have been many cases where tenants are unable to fulfill their rental obligations. These free rent seekers are able to twist around laws that protect the tenant, enabling them stay rent free for a duration up to 6 months.

Childcare Background Checks

Extensive background checks is always required for childcare workers. The requirements for screening nannies or childcare workers vary, but most will require checks from:

  • State criminal records
  • State and federal fingerprint records
  • Child abuse and neglect list records
  • State and federal sex offender records







Consumer Reporting Agencies

Every credit report contain rich of information that lenders are able to use to assess applicant’s risk as a borrowers.

This information have details about their credit account, the type of account, the credit limit and account balance, and payment history, or collections that are in the account holder’s name.

“The information in this credit report comes directly from companies that have extended credit in the past. Credit card companies, banks, credit unions, retailers and mortgage lenders all report the details of the credit activity to the credit reporting agencies (CRAs)” (Equifax, 2014).

“CRAs also receive information from debt collectors, and they purchase public records, such as bankruptcies, from public record providers”. (Equifax 2014)


The Importance of Conducting Background Checks

The hiring of new employees can be a difficult experience. It is important to find the right candidate with the education and capacity to do the job. In an environment such as Nigeria, verifying claims are problematic, and many employers have found themselves in circumstances where they have hired incompetent employees that are discovered later to be unable to perform the task they were hired for.

“To be effective in hiring practices involves delving into the background of applicants to get a better idea of their abilities and employment performance. However, this has to be restrained with respect for the privacy of each individual candidate as well as being compliant with relevant laws” (TheAdvancedGroup, 2011).

Primarily, background checks are run to determine the accuracy of the information provided by an applicant. It also an opportunity to assist in creating a profile for the applicant beyond what can be discovered in a short encounter. For instance, a security officer position is not open to anybody with a criminal record.



Legal Issues with Background Checks

“Before a background check is initiated, proper evaluation for the purpose is important. Some activities of a background check may not be necessary. An organization can easily go overboard in a background check to err on the side of caution. Certain information such as medical and credit history require written consent from the applicant” (TheAdvancedGroup, 2011).

Employers have the right to know who they are hiring and background checks are legal. Technically, any information that comes up on a background check is usually public record. “Employers can therefore research this information and take it into account when making hiring decisions and most employers exercise this right. According to a survey conducted by CareerBuilder, 72% of employers conduct background checks on every new employee” (Klazema, 2018)

Background Check Laws and Limitations

It is vital to note that there are several laws that limit an employer’s ability to use background checks in making hostile decisions about hiring. Both employers and applicants should always check what information is legal about the background check that will be run.

The limitations that often apply to employment background checks:

FCRA Compliance

In United States, “the Fair Credit Recording Act (FCRA) is one of the most important documents that protects the legality of employment background checks. The FCRA documents does not prohibit employers from conducting background checks on applicants” (Klazema, 2018). Instead, it provides a process that employers must go through before and after checks are run on prospective employees.

“Before the check, an employer must follow a rigid set of rules to obtain a candidate’s written consent to the check and after the background check, if the employer wishes to make an adverse hiring decision based on the findings of the report (Klazema, 2018), it must first:

  1. Inform the candidate in writing about the decision,
  2. Provide a copy of the background check report that led to the decision
  3. The candidate must be given the details of the company that prepared the background check report
  4. Tell the candidate the background check company did not make the hiring decision, despite preparing the relevant report
  5. Inform the candidate that he or she can request an additional copy of the report from the background check company
  6. Inform the candidate of their right to contact the background check company and dispute the report’s accuracy” (Klazema, 2018)



Information Gathering and Identification In Nigeria

In Nigeria, the Bank Verification Number, which is widely known as the BVN is an identification system executed by the Central Bank of Nigeria to reduce illegitimate banking transactions in the country. “It is a modern security measure in line with the Central Bank of Nigeria Act 1958 to reduce fraud in the banking system”.

“BVN verification works by recording the fingerprints and facial photograph of the applicant. It uses a biometric technology to register customers in the financial system.  It records these unique physical features, such as the fingerprints and eye of an individual. A BVN is generated once a person’s biometrics have been recorded” (Punch, 2015). The mandate is to protect bank customers, reduce fraud and strengthen the Nigerian banking system.

The BVN have been a successful venture ecause of its Biometric enrolment technology, as it “is helpful to people who cannot read and write. Their finger prints and pictures would serve the same purpose as signatures” (Punch, 2015). Bank customers who have multiple account with different banks would be covered when they do a single registration in any of the banks where they have accounts.

“BVN was initiated to help the banking system reduce situations where loan defaulters, for instance, move from one bank to the other and the banks extend new credits to them, without knowing their history.  Banks would be able to track transactions across all banks in Nigeria with more ease” (Vanguard, 2015). The BVN project has captured no fewer than 31 million Nigerians, with its unique identifier number.

According to Dipo Fatokun, CBN Director, Banking and Payment System, “disclosed in a paper titled, `Nigeria’s progress towards the creation of a robust, trusted and inclusive Financial Services Environment’, that CBN had also linked a total of 43,959,282 banks accounts” (Vanguard, 2015).

The objectives include the following: “increase access, convenience, service levels across the industry; enable greater financial inclusion and integration of financial services into the economy, with its attendant positive impact on economic development’’ (Fatokun, 2015).

According to Fatokun, “the BVN has also helped to increase deterrent controls on financial transactions and reduce or mitigate fraud risk and identity theft. Most importantly, it has created avenues for people who cannot write regular signature to make financial transactions, thus, facilitating financial inclusion” (Vanguard 2018).


Drivers License

Everywhere in the world, because of the common use of vehicle licensing, the driver’s license remains a document which users get after a well defined process. “As an official document, it permits individuals to operate any motorized vehicles, such as motorcycle, car, truck or bus on public roads in accordance to the law of the country” (Odumade, 2018).

In Nigeria, “the first and most important purpose of driver’s license is to identify the owner as duly certified by the state to operate a motor vehicle. It is the first document a state enforcement officer will demand from a driver, without which a driver has no right to operate a vehicle on public roadway” (Odumade, 2018).

The Nigerian driver’s license serves as an official document which can be presented to open a bank account, when applying for government benefits and loans. “A current driver’s license is a universally accepted form of personal identification, because it displays contact information and picture of the holder. In the instance of accident or emergency, it has also been structured to provide vital information concerning contact details of the next of kin, blood group of driver, which sometimes determine treatment to be administered during casualty” (Odumade, 2018)

However,” many Nigerians try to circumvent the application process of securing driver’s license because of the cumbersomeness involved. They often engage in the services of middlemen who have knowledge about the system are contracted to fasts track the process. A document that is officially obtained for $20 for a three year license will be obtained unofficially for $60. This middleman arrangement is also facilitated by the corruption of many officials who have been compromised”  (Odumade, 2018). An additional consequence is, a different false identity can also be created.


Integrating Existing Identification Systems

The “National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) is a statutory Nigerian organization that operates the country’s national identity management systems. The NIMC Act No. 23 of 2007 established the commission to create, operate and manage Nigeria’s a national identity card database, integrate the existing identity database in government institutions, register individuals and legal residents, assign a unique national identification number and introduce general multi-purpose cards” (Nwezeh, 2010).

This project is an initiative to create a national identity database and to prevent both double identity and identity fraud by assigning a unique identifier number, just as done with the Social Security Number, in the United States.

Every citizen and legal resident of Nigeria are required to enrol for the National Identification Number (NIN).

The NIN is a unique set of numbers assigned to Nigerian citizens after their biometric records have been taken and the National Identity Database confirms that there is no previous entry of the same data. The NIN once issued to a person cannot be reissued, even if the number was previously assigned to a dead person.

The NIN references all records from other agencies such as Vehicle Licensing office, Tax ID, Passports, BVN, etc about a person in the database, harmonize the data and, used to check the identity verified.

Challenges Deploying the National Identification Number

One of the challenges facing the National Identity Management Commission is the  production of national identity cards for everyone who enrolled for it, despite the huge public clamour for it. According to the commission, “national identity cards that are ready are mainly for people who enrolled in 2012 and 2013, adopting a first-come, first-served approach”, the Director-General, NIMC, Aliyu Aziz. He also expressed concern in the huge cost being incurred in the identity management of different sectors in Nigeria.

Aziz said that the “duplication of efforts have led to uncoordinated identity approach, as well as unreliable identity information due to lack of interoperability and disconnected databases”.

He said NIMC was tasked with the responsibility to ensure absolute integrity and security of this information. He added that the linkages between agencies such as the birth and death agencies would be an advantage.

“The Identity Management System in Nigeria is rigged with many other challenges such as underfunding from the Nigerian Government; corruption; the inability to integrate identity systems from other government agencies – NIMC, NPC, INEC, FRSC, National Passport Office; and Incompetence from the NIMC administration and its inability to coordinate its processes along the framework of the agency” (Ibanga, 2017)

Developing Credit and Identity Check Solution

AO Incorporated has been looking at various opportunities for its organization to apply the IT and Software capabilities of the Company in some potential new markets and has decided to be registered as an authorized Consumer Reporting Agency in Nigeria. As part of its research on possible projects, developing a robust private driven credit and identity check system comes highly recommended, in such a way that it would help the Nigerian Government tackle some of its citizen’s identity crisis while also spurning economic growth.

In order to optimize the delivery of a cost effective, yet an efficient solution that provides value for users and the Nigerian environment as a whole, AO Inc will be limiting its identity check scope of service to the development and deployment of a bespoke solution that addresses specific background check services for


  • Nanny Solution: To conduct background checks on any household employee. AO Inc. will offer different levels of screening options and also provide the ability for additional secondary searches.

Nigeria has an expanding middle class, which mean many parents are having to work longer hours and at the same time, not having time for child care. Unfortunately, theft and abuse crimes are existing in the childcare world. No parent will want to endanger the life of their child. In Nigeria, when many families find a nanny they really like, they feel a background check is unnecessary. This is aside the fact that going about a background check is not a straightforward process and easily accessible.

To do a Nanny Background Check, the information will search for

Identity Confirmation – NIN number, Full name, Driver’s license

Criminal Records – 5 year non criminal activities, 5 year address history, sex offenses, court cases, misdemeanors

Reference Check – work history

Driving records – If any


  • Employee Verification Solution – To offer a comprehensive class of background screenings, including an abundance of checks designed specifically for most industry workers. In addition, AO Inc. will conduct deep criminal history searches and provide a wide variety of verifications, such as those for past education and employment. For example, CBC News of Canada reported that fraud in the workplace cost Canadian Businesses over $3.2 Billion in 2011

The employment verification solution will check for job competency. For many employers, a background check is a reliable way of verifying claims made by job seekers during the hiring process. With a tight employment market, the appeal of overstating educational qualifications or enhancing job histories, can grow.

The employment verification will also check that it has enough information to protect against workplace safety and theft. Employers know that most business theft today is performed by insiders. A background check can help employers to make intelligent and informed hiring decisions to help reduce their risk of theft.

  • Credit Check – To offer a solution that reveals credit history, including paying habits, judgments, liens, and bankruptcies for the individual. This information is useful in determining financial responsibility and money management for the applicant.
  • Tenant Screening Report – A service that runs a thorough search and screening process on a potential tenant, to help a landlord avoid future problems by detailing a history of past rental behavior and rental responsibility.



AO Inc. IDM Application Software Flow Charts


Chart 1 – AO Inc. IDM System















Chart 2 – AO Inc. IDM Services











Chart 3 – Interaction between AO Inc. IDM and Integrated Identification Agencies in Nigeria to pull Identity






Project Management






Project Milestone






SOAR on Consumer Reporting Agency in Nigeria

This section will be focusing on a brief analysis of the business opportunities and strengths of running a consumer reporting agency such as which, AO Inc intend to engage in Nigeria. This SOAR analysis will be a useful approach for the strategic planning of the project.

AO Inc is looking at registering as a consumer reporting agency in Nigeria to be able to carry out various checks on an identity – from credit reporting to other forms of background checks.based on research and findings, there is only one existing company Background Check Internation, BCI, which as a first market mover, is already running similar services, and is also the only kind of organization presently registered in Nigeria offering such services.

The following AO Inc core organization strengths and assets are determined to be

  • A state of the art technology, covering applications and equipment, that we will be bringing from the United States
  • An excellent training program that will be designed specifically for new field operation personnels
  • A solid long term relationship with top key Nigeria Government officials who are willing to fast track licensing and other regulation requirements

Opportunities are already identified and that’s why AO Inc will be limiting its scope of services to areas of specific need to the average Nigerian – Employment verification, Tenant Screening, Credit reporting and Nanny Services. Based on research, it was found that the competitor, BCI, running similar services charge a steep cost to run its services. AO Inc will be bringing down the cost implication to a fraction lower, making it more affordable and covering a larger, marginalized customers within the market space.


This paper is written to look at the opportunities where AO Inc will be able to apply its IT and Software capabilities in some potential market. Nigeria as a business environment does not have a credible and or easily assessible Consumer Reporting Agencies that offer a robust private driven credit and identity check systems, in such a way that it would benefit the Nigerian Government and its people, and also help to tackle some of its citizen’s identity crisis.

A thriving and booming economy is one which has people having a high level of cooperation and trust. To develop trust and cooperation, individuals within that environment must be identifiable, and a system has to be designed to force them into having credible values and uprightness. Will AO Inc. mission and vision be able to achieve this project?

“When your vision becomes your mission, your business will become a movement.” A successful business can create change that affects neighborhoods, cities, even the world.

The last chapter using the SOAR analysis already explored the strengths and opportunities that are there for embarking on this project, and a final motivating need to go ahead, is that AO Inc. has as part of its vision, the moral obligation to contribute to creating enabling societies, around the world.

Paper Written by: Ade Oyinloye


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Virtual State (Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Publishers, 2006), 171.

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What Types of Background Checks are There? (n.d.). Retrieved from

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Only 350 Nigerians responsible for 80% of N5.4 trillion debt – AMCON. (2018, June 28).

Time On Site

Time On Site


We often delude ourselves into believing we have control over the use of our mobile technologies


What you do not realize is, behind the screen, there are over a thousand Engineers and Developers whose jobs is to keep you addicted to that screen


It’s called Time On Site


Time On Site is the currency with which the performance of web and application Platforms – mobile app, app, websites etc are being rated on. It measures how long a visitor stays on the user interface of the site, which further translates into how successful that site interests and involves you, and every other user.


Web platforms don’t just want you to cursorily browse through their sites, they want you to spend a great amount of your time resources, not just once, but repeatedly.


So, think YouTube, Facebook, Google, Instagram, Snapchat & Twitter.


These Tech companies most likely have a Chief Psychology Officer or some social scientists, whose job is to tell Engineers and Developers how to build persuasive algorithms into these platforms. Persuasive algorithms that can alter your habit and behavior.


The more you stay glued to a site, the more successful the platform provider is expected to be, in terms of campaign and site visitation to the site. Web analytics calculate this ToS almost accurately.


Web analytics do not calculate the period you have a page open but dozed off on your seat. Neither does it consider the time you are downloading a movie file or reading a site content


Time on Site record all requests and engagement on the site.


You think you’re in control?

Someone somewhere is making a decision that will affect your life.


You think you can get rid of your habits?

There are people more intelligent behind the screen whose job is to keep you persuaded and distracted


Have you noticed on your Facebook mobile app, that when you click the back button to exit the app – believing you’re done gossiping on family & friends’ pictures and timeline stories – the app doesn’t close, but instead scrolls up to display timelines of other friends you may have missed?


Have you noticed that when you’re done watching an episode on Netflix, the next episode shows in a small box and a timer starts to count down – persuading you to stay on watching?

Or a new related movie is suggested, based on your movie choice?


Think about how YouTube automatically plays the next music video – trying to persuade you to stay on the app.


Think about all the notifications from Twitter, Netflix and Snapchat, you wake up to see on your mobile device, in the morning.


These social platforms wake you up in the morning, to divide your daily time resource into time slots, each taking a block of your time, away.


Don’t you just love it when these Platforms do exactly what you desire or do things on your behalf that you didn’t even think of?

Yup! Those are deliberate designs and persuasive algorithms built into our technologies

#TimeOnSite is all #Hammjustsaying

The Characteristics of an Agile MIS Infrastructure – Adebola Oyinloye

Agile MIS Infrastructure is the combination of an organization’s hardware, software and telecommunication equipment, all working together as a system to support the goals of that organization. The system must be scalable such that, if an organization demand for resources grow by a percentage, the existing infrastructure must be able to handle the percentage growth without having any adverse effect on the functionality of the company’s operation.

The following are characteristics of an Agile MIS Infrastructure that can ensure a system meet and perform under any unexpected or unplanned changes

  1. Accessibility – The operation of the system must be easily accessible at any time without restriction by all users of the system, according to their authorization or access level.
  2. Availability – In today’s world where Ebusiness mean the operation of a system must be 24/7/365, availability means the period within which the system must be operational. When the system is unavailable, then it cannot be used. A system that is tagged High Availability, like the type used by Internet Service Providers, mean the system is continuously operational at all times
  3. Maintainability – The system must be flexible enough to meet all types of company changes and business changes, without a complete system failure. For example, some businesses fail to plan for global customers. Soon as the first order comes from a global customer, it may cause a business process issue. Systems must be built with flexibility to meet business change.
  4. Portability – This is the ability of an application to operate on any device or software platforms. These days, applications are built to run on any device like PC, mobile phones and tablets. They are also able to run on operating systems like Windows, Mac or Linux.
  5. Reliability – This is the ability for a system to function accurately and provide reliable information to the users.
  6. Scalability – This describes how well a system can scale up or adapt to growing demands. If a company grows fast, it may find it difficult to function properly if it has to rely on limited resources from an existing system. For example, a SOHO router built for 50 users will have operational difficulty, and may eventually break down, if users on the network increases to 100.
  7. Usability – This describes the user friendliness of a system. The system must be easy to use while also being efficient. Windows Operating Systems are always perceived to be more user friendly than Apple Mac’s IOS




  1. Paige Baiztan. (2016). Business Driven Information Systems: Fifth Edition. New York NY. 10121 McGraw-Hill Education

Your Phone Photo shot better than iPhone 7?

If you live in a larger city, chances are you’ve seen the ‘Shot on iPhone’ billboards that have been dotted around for a few years now.The award-winning campaign has long been an impressive way to highlight the quality of images that can be captured on Apple’s phones, with the photos showcasing various different subject matters…

via Can photos from your phone look like they were ‘Shot on iPhone 7’? — TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Top 5 Best Online Communication Tools in 2017

With the rise of the internet, computers and mobile technology, so much has changed in the business world over the decades. And of course, it’s critical to implement the right devices and applications into your everyday operations, not just to boost productivity, but to keep up with – or stay ahead of – the competition.If…

via Top 5 best online collaboration and communication tools in 2017 — TechRadar – All the latest technology news

WhatsApp enables two-step verification

Looking for a little more security in your digital life? If you’re a WhatsApp user, you’re in luck.The messaging service has just turned on two-step verification for all its billion-plus users. Once you activate the optional feature, anytime you (or anyone else) tries to verify your phone number, a six-digit passcode created by yourself must…

via WhatsApp enables two-step verification for added security — TechRadar – All the latest technology news


Case Study: Mount Cedar Technologies Inc.

2016-06-17 15.30.36

Introduction to Mount Cedar Tech Inc

Mount Cedar Technologies, which began as an importer and distributor of computer accessories but later grew into an IT infrastructure integrator that specializes in hardware, software and security solutions, from an employee of 6 to 170 in 2006, is having an organizational behavior challenge. The company lacked an organization structure that can help improve on its operations’ effectiveness. Even though the decision making was highly decentralized, there was no cooperation among the managers therefore, each department were making independent decisions, without coordination or communication.


Mount Cedar Technologies Vision

In trying to analyze and provide suggestions that can improve or enhance Mount Cedar Technologies’ organizational challenge, we need to find out what the company’s vision is. According to Neil Kokemuller (2017), A mission and vison are standard and critical elements of a company’s organization strategy. Most established companies develop organizational vision statements which serves as foundational guides in the company’s objectives. The case study has not mentioned any mission or vision statement for the company, and this is an underlying factor in shaping an organizational culture. Where mission relates to goals and refers to the overriding purpose of the organization, Vision refers to the desired future state of the organization” (Johnson et al., 2011 p.8).

Hans Hinterhuber and Wolfgang Popp (1992, p.106) defines vision as “an orientation point that guides a company’s movement in a specific direction. If the vision is realistic and appeals both to the emotions and intelligence of employees, it can integrate and direct a company”.


Assessing the Leadership Style

Even though John Curtis, the CEO, has been instrumental to the growth of the business, his present leadership style had become problematic to many including the top management. He surprised people by showing uninvited to meetings and employees are expected to provide impromptu responses to unprepared questions thrown at them. Since Curtis has been perceived as being an issue, he cannot be recommended as a change leader. So, Mount Cedar Tech. need to restructure its organization, and what the company need is a distributed leadership which could be used to effect an organizational change. Research has also shown how change is driven by large number of organizational members, in an approach that is called “leadership constellations” (p. 17)


Creating an Organizational Structure that Promotes Creativity

The case study identified that the company lacked an organization structure that can help improve on its operations’ effectiveness. And one way to achieve this to create an organizational structure that promotes creativity. According to “Making Innovation Structures Work”, a McKinsey Global Survey results, Executive say their companies use multiple organizational approach to drive innovation and that the success of these efforts depends on integrated strategy.

While 86% say the structure of their separate functions positively influences outcomes, results however suggested that the most important factor of success is how creativity is integrated into corporate strategy. Therefore, some of the general characteristics of organizational innovation Mount Cedar Tech. can put in place to promote creativity, are

  • Allowing everybody understand that they are capable of generating creative ideas
  • Organizational culture that can smother creativity
  • If any one comes up with a great idea, let them understand – ‘no need to tell, just show it’


Improving Mount Cedar Tech. using Communication and Employee Empowerment

At Mount Cedar Technologies, decision making was highly decentralized which resulted in the loss of possible gains to be obtained from cooperation among managers. Ideally, having a flat structure and decentralized decision making should make an organization work more efficiently, and allow it to react quickly to business situation, however, if there is no coordination or proper communication, there will be a resulting silo effect in which each department will make decisions by itself.

Research has shown that effective lateral and work group communication leads to an improvement in overall company performance. Here are a few ways organization communication can increase decision making effectiveness and a productive organizational behavior

  • When information is not transferred correctly to the right people, there might be miscommunication as seen at Mount Cedar Tech. it is important to have a good communication system, so that everyone understands the goal and can work together towards it. E.g. to launch a new product on Facebook, new goals and tasks should be properly communicated to the employees
  • Effective communication can also empower employees and improve productivity if they have more information, about specific tasks. Mount Cedar Tech employees where not empowered and were not encouraged to risk taking. In fact, department managers acknowledged that they were busy reacting to problems and customer issues, allowing them no time to coordinate or listen to their employees. This is because managers don’t have information about how to deal with specific tasks.
  • Communication also creates healthy and productive cultures in an organization. If employees and managers have good working relationships with each other, the organizational behavior of the company improves.
  • Effective organizational communication also increases accountability. When employees and managers are provided with clear instructions, they know what is expected from each of them. This will break silo effect in an organization, and managers can work together in tandem with the organization mission and vision.


Addressing Diversity and Minority

Christensen and Cornelissen (2011, pp. 402-3) argue that organizations have to work with many voices, with different views and ideas, so that communication can be ambiguous and inconsistent for this reason of accommodating diversity in an organization: “vague and equivocal language allows organizations to talk about themselves in ways that integrate a variety of members and stakeholders without alienating anyone”. This is key to Mount Cedar Tech. as it was also lagging in the advancement of women and minorities.


Organizational Motivation and Reward

Finally, it is important to keep employees motivated and rewarded. Mount Cedar Tech, experienced complaints from employees who did not feel equitable treated, which resulted in the loss of talented employees. According to Lipman (2013) here are 5 easy ways (which are self-explanatory) to motivate employees

  • Align individual economic interests with company performance
  • Take a genuine interest in the future path of an employee’s career
  • Take a genuine interest in their work-life balance
  • Listen
  • Do unto others as you would have done unto you


Mount Cedar Technologies Inc.

Designing A High-Performance Organization


Adebola Oyinloye

California Miramar University




Palmer, I., Dunford, R., Buchanan, D.A. (2016). “Managing Organizational Change”: A Multiple Perspectives Approach. New York NY. McGraw-Hill Education

Neil Kokemuller (2017). “Importance of Mission Vision in Organizational Strategy”

McKinsey & Company (September 2012). Making Innovation Structures work: Mckinsey Global Survey results.

Pavel Aramyan (Octoboer, 2015). 5 ways workplace communication effectiveness can increase productivity.

Victor Lipman (March, 2013). 5 Easy Ways to Motivate and and Demotivate Employees. Forbes.


Organizational Change: External Environment Alerts and Internal Pressures to Change

Business organizations are not protected from external environment threats, neither have they been able to successfully create an infallible system to guard against internal organizational pressures when the need for unintended Organizational Change arises.


Change managers, who are either the CEOs of a company or Project Managers are often part of the organizational process to help an organization do things differently or achieve a specific goal, and when external environment is the reason for change within an organization, they are on ground to identify these potential problems.

Here are a few Potential Threats from External Environment Influence that can force an organization to change its structure

  • Economic or political factors that influences External environment cause for organization change are often the most complex issues to address, as it affects the entire socio-environment in which the organization exist.

The 2015 Nigerian economic collapse into a ‘forced recession’ as a result of the transition from One political party to another, is a strong indication why organization must be adaptable, as consumers tighten their belt during such crisis, causing a demand-supply flow issue. Companies that were ill-prepared have since closed-shop

  • Competition with other business organizations are a common threat which any Change Manager can easily identify and should, somewhat, always be prepared for; For example, if the competition releases a range of new product; this can threaten market share and may result to hiring and firing


  • Other external environment factors include Technology, which is a constant evolving threat and often shapes how an organization is restructured, in terms of using technology to deliver quality service or its effect on organization staffing – employee lay-offs, recruitment or job description change.


  • And Globalization, which is a new entrant. This often related to business organization aspiration for global expansion and the need to capture new market.


In contrast, Organizations do often assume they have complete control over most internal environment factors that may effect change, because organization owns its people, culture, process and structure. However, one of its biggest pressure for change is Growth.

Organizations are expected to grow over the years as a sign of success (Dylan 2004). However, growth or lack of growth can both create some sort of complexity that pressures for change in an organization. And this change could lead to Organizational Restructuring (either employee down-sizing where growth is stalled or new recruitments, where its growing).

Introduction of a new CEO or a functional manager and internal power grabs and politics between stakeholder interests and decision makers are also internal environment pressures, that can call for change in organization

For instance, the introduction of a New CEO “can significantly impact business strategy and corporate culture”

In my opinion, since both external and internal environment factors are both influential to any organizational change process, the external factors are most impactful.

Most organizations are started out of the vision and goals of its sponsors and stakeholders, which often comes with a change process as contained in the organizational internal process, to address most expected threats that may arise.

However, the effect of external environment factors is highly unpredictable to an organization. For example, the political transition to President Mohammed Buhari in 2015, and his subsequent economic fumble have triggered a lot of instability across most business organizations in all sectors in Nigeria, forcing many businesses to close, downsize or restructure


Class Presentation by Adebola Oyinloye, Jan 2016

Organizational Development and Change Class


Wonder Wonder Mavrodi Mondial Moneybox


That my circumstances will not, one day, change to erode or compromise either my Principle, Integrity or Belief.


Bae spoke to me about a scheme a few months back, and without listening for too long, I got the gist and swiftly killed her presentation.

I know those schemes – PONZI. But this one is called, MMM (click, to meet the OG)

Without realizing how much fire this movement had caught on, I got to the office today and heard many testimonies. But the two most striking ones…

1) This is the most TRANSPARENT PONZI Scheme ever – (How PONZI and Transparent happen to find its way into the same sentence is very confusing.)

As a matter of fact, it is disingenuous. For, the transparency outlook actually makes the scheme appear reliable and accommodating

2) Someone ‘they’ know somewhere just bought a car after his “Provide Help/Get Help click click” matured – MMM Web App terminologies 😀. An encouraging testimony.

Apparently, my office has been a MMM branch office for a while now. Testimonies only just started coming out. One need to see the motivated presentation and pep talk I was given, just to gain my buy-in.

I confess, it was convincing.

You do not need to be a marketer to give a good sales pitch. People actually do know how to sell a product or any type of service, most especially when given the right motivation. My office team, were not any different. They were animated, trying to sell me MMM.

I was impressed. Attention to details; full product (MMM) knowledge; live presentation and Q & A session.

Should I still be in doubt – case studies were highlighted, plus personal testimonies – clients, families and friends. The list was extensive.

So how does MMM work?

Sincerely speaking, understanding MMM’s business module is very vague on detail. But I will try

You see, you have a spare N100,000 you don’t mind throwing away (MMM clearly warns you on its website, not to use money you cannot lose – disingenuous, yes?).

You register your personal details on the MMM website and click on provide help to start ‘investment’. You then have to wait for about 2 weeks to be paired with someone who needs a N100,000. All the while, the N100,000 you have committed to MMM still resides in your own personal account, so you have this safe feeling that your money is still with you and not lost. In addition, while this committed money is in your possession, you can log in to MMM website to see your virtual N100,000 accruing interest at 1% per day – remember about 14 days have gone, so you should expect to see something like N114,000 in your virtual MMM account

Soon as you are paired, you transfer the N100,000 directly to the person you are paired with. Both of you, by now, has direct contact with each other and can relate on phone or any preferred means of communication. MMM is not involved in anyway.

Then you wait out the remaining days of the 30 days, to cash out. While waiting, you can always log into your MMM account to watch your interest continue to grow daily! At the end, you will be credit N130,000 by someone (probably another maga) you are paired with.


On the surface, this is how MMM works. No interaction with MMM providers. No service charge, aside penalties, if you default on your commitment.

Pastors now advertise MMM in churches (I think you should avoid these kind of Pastors and Churches).

Workplaces now turned to MMM recruitment agencies.

Businessmen & women now invest in MMM since the ROI is 30% in a month (why do I need to bother with buying goods from China, when there’s no guarantee I will have my goods shipped and cleared through customs in 30 days).

“MMM promises me N300k for my N1 million in ONE MONTH!”

I would be a fool not to partake after the whole impromptu session, which lasted less than an hour!

But you know. .. it is still a PONZI scheme!


Why and what exactly is money exchanging hands for, in this scheme?
It is not a stock neither does it possess its characteristics, and it has no physical material or composition.

How does Sergie Madrovi, or the MMM franchize in Nigeria make money?

I cannot claim to know the answers to these questions, but basic common sense would tell us, there is nothing free in Freetown.

MMM could be your ultimate trojan! All of its operation is on a website. Through the website, you enter all your personal details including bank information. Opening the website on your private PC could also install rogue bots that will capture every other data you have on your PC outside just visiting the MMM’s website, and that includes your key strokes! This is very insidious.

Data mining is the future. And you may just be providing MMM every single information you possess without signing a contract. This is besides intending this, for Google’s ad sense and general advertizing purpose.


My Advise

– Just be aware MMM is a PONZI scheme. This kind of scheme, always wearing a new look and new name each time, often show up when a nation is in misery or in recession. Guess which countries its featuring on in Africa at the moment.. Zimbabwe & Nigeria

– It has a lifespan. Probably 1 year, if really good and the machinery is well perfected by its organizers. I see this one dead, by mid next year. If this helps, do note that it has gone bad in South Africa & Russia

– However, if you are going to go for a risky venture (remember, risk is neither good nor bad), GO BIG & ONCE. Do not attempt to be cautious or claim smartness about this, saying:

“I’ll do N20k, if it comes back, I’ll increase to N50k, then N100k”.

Trust me, you would have played yourself by the time you want to invest the N100k. That is what these schemes aim for – PROGRESSIVE GREED! 😀.

What you do, if and when convinced is, take a reasonable sum (say N100k or N200k), close your eyes and JUST DO IT!
If you win – Cash out and say bye bye
If you lose – Your bad

Like I have communicated earlier, Do Not Be Greedy!

But you can always make an attempt to take an advantage of a scheme that is scheming to scheme you

This is my opinion on MMM. And please, do not forget to read on the founder – Sergei Mavrodi

Ade Of Nigeria, is an IT consultant and social commentator


October 23, 2016

I thought to make my household a tech-savvy environment, with the intent to expose my kids, early in life, to technology use. I made it a point to buy them a tablet on their 5th birthdays – the older got separate ones while the younger, shares with a parent.

These days, children are known to always show this pure inquisitive interest toward any portable gadget within their reach, right from an early age, and I naturally do not want a situation where my kids mistakenly mess around with my working tools; or put simply – damage them.

So I bought my boy a tablet on his 5th recently. Many months after, this picture popped up on my spare phone – which doubles as a “guardian tablet” to my kids’ devices. LOL!



You can’t imagine what children do behind you. And oh yes! I have since learnt some lessons. This’ my spare phone monitors most of their activities online, aside the parental control I have implemented on both the Wi-Fi access router and their individual devices

Kids don’t require much help to navigate around a device. They know where the download app is and what favorite games or any other useful app to download. I guess the familiarity comes by instinct or while sharing with their parents.

I remember getting my daughter, hers. A couple of months later, I coincidentally came across her tablet and interestingly decided to go through it. As I flipped the numerous apps she had downloaded, mostly “Barbie” related stuff, a favorite for early aged girls; I noticed some disturbing Naked Barbie apps which alarmed me and raised my curiosity!


Child protection have always been a lifelong humanity concern, hence the reason why it is not surprising the Child Online Protection Act was passed into law in 1998 in the United States for the protection of minor on the internet. The COPA required that all commercial distributors of material considered harmful to children should restrict their sites from access by minors. In 2010, the Nigeria Communications Commission followed suit by organizing a stakeholder forum to develop a framework on Child Online Protection with particular emphasis on the Information, Communication and Technology industry. This was being championed by the Ex First Lady, Mrs. Patience Jonathan.

But how effective are these regulations in the protection of a minor from the dangers of the internet? According to online resources, “Material harmful to minors” was defined as content that by “contemporary community standards” was judged to appeal to the “immodest interest” and that showed sexual acts or nudity (including female breasts).

As with all creations in life, the internet is a very valuable tool that provides as much good information as harmful ones. The protection of minors on the internet requires a multi-level approach to implementing the needed security. Inasmuch as there are current child online protection laws or in the case of Nigeria which still has its bill as a work in progress; the need to properly protect a child starts from the child’s immediate environ. Just the way a child can wander in life without proper parental guidance is the same way a child can ramble into a world of obscenity on the internet without proper parental or content control.

It is estimated in 2003 that 20% of all pornography traded over the internet was child pornography, which have since increased by 1500%. The US Department of Justice states that “at any one time there are estimated to be more than one million pornographic images of children on the internet, with 200 new images posted daily.” Child pornography on the internet is becoming more brutal and graphic, and about 80% of the children in the abusive images are female under the age of 12!

To further drive home my point; statistics from survey shows that 90% of children that have access to the internet make use of the internet and 60% of these children communicate in chat rooms. About 80% of children with access to internet freely share personal information about themselves and family members, and there is a high probability that a small percentage of these kids can be targeted by pedophile or other undesirable visitors. We should also not forget cyber-bullying, online gaming and other addictions.

What a lot of parents don’t know is there is a wide gap between what parent think and what children know. When parents say they have rulebooks and do monitor their kids, a percentage of these kids do confess to that fact that their parents have no idea! In the UK, according to online source, 60% of children between 9 – 16 year olds say they have seen online pornography. If one checks, these patterns are consistent to most countries across the world, Nigeria not excluded.

As the increase in the internet penetration grows in Nigeria, there will also be an increase in its home use. The internet has brought a lot of untold benefits to people around the world and it will not be uncommon to have Nigerian families embrace it as it gets more affordable, just as it is the case in advance climes. But while the good of the internet is not in denial, it has also raised disturbing issues every parent should be anxious about, and so, the need to be able to identify technological or other methods that will help reduce access by children to material that is harmful to minors on the internet.

The first step in protecting children online is the necessity for parents to be aware of the kind of dangers lurking on the internet. Next is to have internet access points with parental and content control capabilities. This should however be properly configured by the parents or a consultant, if need be. There are so many online materials that can assist in these configurations.

In addition to the steps above, I ensured, in the case of my children, that the home internet access point provides internet connectivity to her device only when either of the parents can monitor and at all time during weekends.

Child online protection starts at home.

Ade of Nigeria is an IT Consultant