Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Johnson says eCommerce, catalyst for economic growth

The Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs Omobola Johnson has described the electronic commerce (eCommerce) as catalyst for economic growth.

Making this disclosure at the first annual eCommerce conference hosted by Jumia in Lagos, she said that the sector has the capacity to significantly extend the reach of wholesale and retail trade in the country leading to accelerated economic growth and job creation.

Dwelling on “eCommerce and ICT in Nigeria: Engine for Job Creation and Economic Growth,’ she informed the audience that eCommerce represents many sectors and players coming together for economic gain.

She cited an instance with suppliers of goods partnering with online retailers such as Jumia to offer their products to consumers that could use banks and other channels for electronic payments to purchase items.

These goods, she said, are then delivered by logistics and delivery companies often using communications technology to schedule delivery.

She noted that in one transaction the participation of entities in the wholesale and retail trade sector, financial services sector, transport sector, postal sector and telecommunications sector are involved.

Mrs. Johnson identified some of the barriers inhibiting growth of eCommerce industry to include inadequate broadband access, high cost of internet and mobile communications services, low awareness amongst the public of the relevance of eCommerce to their lives, low consumer confidence in using electronic payment channels, and low availability of skilled personnel amongst others.

The Federal Government, she said, is working to address these challenges through its on-going implementation of the National Broadband Policy, reformation of the postal sector amongst others.

The postal market in Nigeria, she said, is a highly competitive sector with  substantial growth potential that needs to be deployed to give consumers increased choice and access to the postal operator’s extensive network of urban and rural outlets.

The Ministry, she said, is contributing towards removing payment barriers byreforming postal services and developing postal outlets that will become venues for financial and economic inclusion. Postal outlets constitute the most widespread retail network in Nigeria that can be deployed to foster the reach of eCommerce in the country.

Remmy Nweke
ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D

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