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Unlicensed Software in Nigeria Worth $287 million


A new survey puts unlicensed software in Nigeria to be worth $287 million, representing an 81% of all software installed on personal computers in the country last year.

The 2013 Global Software Survey released by the Software Alliance (BSA) found that in 2013, the commercial value of unlicensed software in the Middle East and Africa stood was over $4.3 billion, and over $287 million in Nigeria.

According to  Marius Haman, Corporate Attorney, Digital Crimes Unit at Microsoft, one of BSA’s member companies:“The study clearly shows how much work still has to be done. Reducing unlicensed software use will help to stimulate Nigeria’s economy, enhance businesses productivity and better avoid security risks. Security is especially important in light of the growing threat of cybercrime.”

Nigeria is not the only problem. Nearly three thirds or 73 percent of software installations in emerging markets-which represent 56 percent global PC use —are unlicensed. Globally 43 percent of all softwares installed on PCs are not properly licensed which poses a security threats to use comuters from malware,  hackers and data loss.

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Users of unlicensed software also in Nigeria are also exposed to accidental piracy, said Haman.

He said, “Unsuspecting companies are at risk of downloading or purchasing counterfeit software that can expose them to spyware, malware and viruses that can lead to identity theft, loss of data, and system failures. Local law enforcement is taking action to tackle unscrupulous resellers and computer shops. An effective partnership between the public and private sector is crucial to reducing unlicensed software use in Nigeria.”

The study also adds that there’s a significant gap between workers’ and IT managers’ on their firm’s policy on software. 42 percent of workers say their firms do not know anything about licensed software or their firms do not have any while 86 percent of IT managers say their firms have no written policy on licenced software. The study also shows that over 50 percent of IT managers doubt their if their dcompany’s softwares are properly licensed.

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BSA President and CEO Victoria Espinel said, “Most people don’t know what is installed on their systems. That needs to change. There are common-sense steps managers and administrators can take to make sure their organisations are using genuine, properly licensed software.”

The BSA’s Global Software Survey said globally the value of unlicensed PC software installations in 2013 grew to $62.7 billion from the 2011’s $63.5 billion. Among the risks associated with unlicensed software, 64 percent of users suffered from unauthorized access by hackers and 59 percent claimed loss of data.

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Sam Wakoba
Sam Wakoba
Taking you on tour through Africa's tech and business ecosystem, one story at a time since 2010! Based out of Nairobi, Kenya, Sam is the founder and managing director of Moran Media, which runs, various other digital platforms and a startup incubation hub for Kenya's youthful entrepreneurs. Drop me a mail at [email protected]

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