Today, we are crushing on Olajide Abiola who is the Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Kiakia.
Olajide Abiola, is a former Nigerian Army soldier, who applied for a loan of N70,000 as an overdraft against his salary from the bank where his salary account was domiciled, but was turned down. Despite pushing for a month, he could not overcome the bureaucratic hurdles of securing a loan from the bank.
Consequently, he voluntarily retired from the military and ventured into a career in IT.
He started as an IT manager in an IT education firm and then moved into IT consulting, specializing in sales and technical space.
Later, Abiola took up a programming position with the Federal Ministry of Information for a brief period before transitioning into the political arena as a legislative aide to the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance, and other Financial Institutions. However, he eventually left the role and resurfaced as a regional manager of an IT firm that focused on business processing and outsourcing.
It was during this period that Abiola conceived the idea of Kiakia, drawing from his wealth of experience in accessing loans as a former soldier, political aide, and IT manager.
Upon the realization that millions of credit-worthy Nigerians were faced with similar challenges, he decided to do something about it.
Kiakia’s primary focus is on serving the underserved, regardless of their geographical, social, identity, or communication data. To relieve the burden on customers, the company’s services are purely online. Applicants apply online, and the company processes their data, authenticates their identity, and finally disburses funds online.
According to him, KiaKia does not discriminate against any gender. “As long as you have a legitimate business under the laws of Nigeria, you are qualified. The median age of our lending platform is between 33 and 34 years, and we have maintained a low non-performing loan rate of 1.09% since our public launch.”
As a peer-to-peer platform, he added, “We have over 50 active customers in four states, and for consumer loans, we have over 5,700 customers in 17 states.”
Kiakia has enabled Abiola to serve the underbanked and ensure that they do not have to endure the same experience he had while trying to secure a loan of N70,000.
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