Iroko TV boss Jason Njoku has spoken out about the stress and difficulty of running a business in Nigeria.
Njoku was reacting to Konga’s sale to Zinox group, as well as reports that bad management and criminal behavior ran down the company.
In a Medium post titled “Be Like Sim”, he wrote: “To my mind, he (and Shola after him), did everything they could. Most will never know the pressures they were under. Most would never truly understand the demands and sacrifices they had to make in order to keep Konga alive.”
He revealed that the true problem was the country itself, and that his own business may have crashed if he didn’t ignore the country to start with.
He wrote: “Nigeria Inc is poorer now in my opinion. When companies in Nigeria fail, it’s usually because of basic criminality and theft. The captain never goes down with the ship. Let me be clear. Sim+Shola ‘went down’ with their ship. I would say 95% of his material wealth was tied up in Konga.
“As for criminality + theft? That wasn’t the case at Konga. No doubt they had internal and external fraud problems. It’s Nigeria. I’m sure, as I look around at IROKO, someone is trying to steal from me right now. But there was aggressive market development.
“There was overspending on everything because that’s what they felt they needed to do to ‘win this market’. There was no sense of impropriety. They gave it their best and the market, this fucking horrendously difficult market Nigeria, this market which turns dreams to ashes daily, just wouldn’t yield.
“It was never about cash. Jumia has cash. All they are doing is burning more of it. The market is pushing back any effort of rationalisation. It may be untameable. I am 100% sure if I hadn’t ignored Nigeria for first 5 years of IROKOtv’s life, we would probably be dead. In fact, IROKOtv should have died in 2015.”