How I Got the Idea of Starting KiaKia

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. He retired voluntarily with honourable discharge and pursued a professional career in Computer Science, focusing on Data Science and Solutions Architecture. As a team lead in an IT educations management firm, he worked in the international examinations unit.

After that, he went into tech services and solutions consulting, specialising in sales and technical space. After a three- month stint with the Federal Ministry of Information as a programmer, he moved into the public governance arena, however, not as a politician, but as a senior legislative aide on the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance, and other Financial Institutions.

He resurfaced as a regional manager of an IT firm focused on business processing and outsourcing. When he left this IT firm, the 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 his memory.

He then realised that millions of Nigerians who have credible background and are creditworthy 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. Its services 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 between 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 lenders in more than four countries. For consumer loans, we have over 67,000 customers in 36 states of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Federal Capital Territory”.

KiaKia has helped Abiola to serve the under banked and ensure they do not relive his N70,000 loan experience.

~ Enterprise CEO (November 25, 2019)

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