WAMCO distribution centre in Jos

Here is Mr. Dominic busy talking through his handset.

Mr. Dominic in Jos

Business in Nigeria has changed a lot with the advent of the mobile phone. It has become much easier to arrange logistics and deal with customers. It comes at a price however. First, costs are very high for most people. Mr. Dominic spends between 10.00 – 15.000 naira a month on mobile phone use (approx. 60 – 95 euros). One of his colleagues we spoke to – running a retail shop with many different customers – even claimed to pay up to 30.000 naira a month! And another cost is that while the mobile phone gives individual freedom to communicate and engage in business, it also places a heavy burden on one’s shoulders, since family and friends are now constantly calling for help and support, even when far away. So, paradoxically,  mobile telephone technology in the west-African context seems to promote individual possibilities and entrepreneurship and a discourse of modernity, while at the same time being a medium that provides possibilities for stronger reliance on one’s social circle and strengthens tradition.

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