By Emmanuel Elebeke
The Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, yesterday challenged Nigeria’s leading e-Commerce companies to join hands with Federal Government in its strategic implementation of National Digital Economy Policy.
The NITDA boss made the call while receiving Chairperson of Jumia Group, Ms Juliet Anammah in his office.
He said it is time for the e-Commerce companies in Nigeria to come together and form a strong and viable entity that can work with government so as to achieve the dream of digitalising Nigeria’s business activities.
Inuwa noted that there is high growing of Nigerians who do online businesses, especially Small and Medium Enterprise (SMEs), through numerous platforms, where potential buyers are connecting with sellers.
“Many Nigerian engaged in e-commerce via Small and Medium Enterprise SME to sell their goods and services and that has tremendously increase the Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).’’
The NITDA DG noted that, Federal Government is doing everything possible to provide adequate policies for “Ease of Doing Business” for private sectors and continue building capacity on digital literacy for consumers and online users.
As part of the Agency’s strategic mandate to improve use of digital tools in the country, Mr Inuwa revealed that NITDA has launched ‘Adopted Village for Smart Agriculture’ (NAVSA), a digital platform that brings farmers together giving them room to market their farm produce on a digital space, and also connect them with potential investors.
He added that NITDA is also building Digital Academy across the country to ensure that Nigerians acquire prerequisite computer knowledge so that using devices will not be difficult for them. According to the DG, this cannot be achieved without necessary cooperation from the private sector. “Despite being IT regulators, NITDA also needs cooperation from private sectors that are into online business. Our door is always open. We run a collaborative government. We are working to make the environment conducive for private organisations to create jobs.”
“It is very important for the e-Commerce Companies to come up with strong, collective and concrete organisation that we can work together to make the industry better for everyone, particularly on job creation,” he added.
Earlier in her address, the Chairperson Jumia Nigeria, Mrs Juliet Anammah described Nigeria as the biggest e-commerce market in Africa, putting the country’s Gross Merchandise valued at 838 million euro with over 25% earnings.
According to her, e-commerce in Nigeria has, in the last few years created thousand jobs to unemployed youths, and become a multiplying factor for SME in the country, adding that Nigeria is still doing much better in online businesses despite current challenges faced by the e-Commerce industry.
“There are some challenges especially poor roads connection, rails, digital infrastructures, digital identity and lack of digital literacy, but Nigeria still have the potentials to do better if there is a strong cross collaborations between the government and the private sectors,” Anammah said.