Olajide Abiola was a soldier in the Nigerian Army. He needed to raise a paltry loan of N70,000 as an overdraft against his salary. He applied to the bank where his salary account domiciled. The bank turned him down. For a month, he pushed, but he could not withstand bureaucracy of securing a loan in the bank. As a soldier, he retired voluntarily and took up a second career in IT. As an IT manager, he worked in an IT education firm.
After that, he went into IT consulting specializing in sales and technical space. After a three- month stint with the Federal Ministry of Information as a programmer, he moved into the political arena, however, not as a politician, but as a legislative aid to the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance, and other Financial Institutions. He left.
He resurfaced as a regional manager of an IT firm focused on business processing and outsourcing. When he left this IT firm, idea of Kiakia was birthed. With his accumulated experience in respect to accessing loan, especially as a soldier, political aide, and IT manager, Abiola’s loan experience flooded to his memory.
He then realized that millions of Nigerians who have credible background and are credit-worthy endure the same treatment daily. “With these attributes, they could not access critical financial intervention when they need it,” he narrated.
Kiakia focuses primarily on the underserved spread across geographical, social, identity and communication data. Itsservices are purely online in other to unburden the customers. Applicants apply online. The company processes the data, authenticates identity before the finally fund disbursement. Also online.
He said KiaKia does not discriminate against any gender. “As long as you have a legitimate business under the law of Nigeria, you are qualified. The median age on our lending platform is 33 to 34 years. We have achieved and maintained a non-performing low rate of 1.09 since we launched to the public.
He narrated that as a peer-to-peer platform, “We have over 50 active customers in four states. For consumer loan, we have over 5,700 customers in 17 states”.
KiaKia has helped Abiola to serve the under banked and ensure they do not relive his N70,000 loan experience.