User Stories: Meet Jamiu Okanlawon, A Software Engineer And A Tech Community Builder From Nigeria
Meet one of our many Nigerian users, Jamiu Okanlawon, and learn more about his career and the challenges he faced before starting to use Native Teams to receive his international payments.
Hi Jamiu and thanks for taking some time out of your busy schedule to talk to us. Can you please tell us a little bit about yourself?
I am Jamiu Okanlawon, Software Engineer and a Tech Community builder. I live in Lagos, Nigeria.
What is your current job title, and what do you do?
I am a Flutter Engineer at OneRoof. I am actively involved in contributing to tech communities, especially Flutter Communities, and not to exclude that I mentor beginners and intermediate Flutter Engineers “in groups.”
How did you get into this role?
I applied through LinkedIn, passed through some technical challenges and interview processes, and finally got selected.
How long did it take for you to get to where you are now?
It took about seven years, with two years just learning and exploring, and I started working professionally five years ago when I got my first role as a Technical Support Intern.
What was your first reaction when you got your first pay in foreign currency?
It was really great. I knew I was already on my way out of “Sapa” (Sapa is a slang for financial constraints in this context) and became convinced I could get anything I wanted if I did the work.
What were the challenges you have faced with International Payments before you started using Native Teams?
There are a handful of challenges I faced with international payments. The timeline goes thus:
- Lengthy set-up duration: Setting up an account on an international platform is usually long. It was so challenging that I had to use a friend’s details to receive my first payment from my first job.
- After setting up an account on an international payment platform and using it for a few months, the platform began having issues, and I had to find another alternative.
- The only alternative I had to the online platform was the local domiciliary bank account, which charges substantial transfer fees, and the withdrawal process was lengthy. Whenever I needed to withdraw, I had to collect the raw dollar cash from the bank and seek out Bureau de change agents to exchange the dollar for naira. I was in constant fear while doing this routine. This alternative had huge security risks, and the charges were not fair.
- I returned to the previous international payment platform, now characterised by a delayed payment reflection time. It takes up to two days for the payment to reflect in my account, and there is a reduced exchange rate margin compared to other platforms of up to #30 to #50 difference per dollar.
How did you learn about Native Teams?
I was introduced to Native Teams by Jessica Uche.
What do you like most about Native Teams?
The speed of receiving funds when using the “Request Payment” feature.
If you had to advise someone on how to get started in tech, what would you say?
I would ask them to read one of the articles I wrote titled “A Manual For Starting A Career In The Technology Industry,” you can read it here.
Finally, what is the one financial principle that keeps you sane?
To spend only on what’s important.