arivia.kom wins big with Nigerian lottery firm

30 2004

arivia.kom wins big with Nigerian lottery firm

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Johannesburg - arivia.kom, the state-owned information technology firm, said yesterday it had clinched a five-year deal to implement and maintain 2 400 very small aperture terminal (VSAT) satellite sites for Nigeria's national lottery.

This would eventually boost arivia.kom's revenue by $10 million (R64 million), or 4 percent, in its first year.

The deal, signed by arivia.kom Nigeria, was worth between $21 million and $40 million, the company said.

"This is the first contract we have secured in Nigeria. We are hoping to secure others," said Alistair McGlashan, arivia.kom Nigeria's chief executive.

arivia.kom Nigeria is 51 percent-owned by the South African group and 49 percent by a consortium of Nigerian entrepreneurs.

The company has been chosen as the preferred technology partner for the Nigerian National Sports Lottery Management Company, which was awarded a 35-year national lottery licence by the Nigerian government.

arivia.kom Nigeria, through its Nigerian delivery partner, Emperion West Africa, will establish the national VSAT communications network in Nigeria. Before the end of October, it will have rolled out 1 200 VSAT lottery sites in eight major cities and by February 2005, it will have created a further 1 200 sites.

arivia.kom Nigeria has employed 230 Nigerians and 15 expatriates to roll out the sites.

"We will have preferential rights to use the network to implement other technology systems," said McGlashan.

He added that arivia.kom, with IBM and Microsoft, had been shortlisted for the multimillion-dollar e-government contract in Nigeria. The decision on the contract will be known by the end of October.

arivia.kom had also secured a wireless product from the US to be sold and distributed in Nigeria.

"We see Nigeria as an important hub of growth. Nigeria will be a critical element for arivia.kom's revenue streams," said McGlashan.

arivia.kom's turnover has grown to R1.73 billion since it launched four years ago with the aim of becoming a dominant information and communications technology (ICT) solutions firm in Africa. It is aiming to get most of its revenue from outside South Africa in the next five to 10 years.

"We are particularly proud to be part of the ICT developments in Nigeria," said Bheki Nkomo, arivia.kom's Africa division managing executive.

By Gugulakhe Masango

Source by Silvia_Michela_Carrassi

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