Nigeria: FG strategizing to improve E-commerce sector

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Federal Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment of Nigeria

The Federal Government announced on Saturday that it was working to develop an e-commerce plan to support the sector’s growth.

This was announced by Otunba Niyi Adebayo, Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment, in Abuja at a stakeholders’ forum on e-commerce and digital trade strategy for Nigeria.

In order to put the economy on a sustainable growth path, Adebayo observed that there was no better moment than the present to diversify the country’s economy away from the oil industry by creating a vibrant, lucrative, and effective non-oil sector.

He claimed that by 2025, the nation’s online shopping population, which stood at 76.7 million in 2021, would have increased to 122.5 million.

The minister, who was represented by the Director, Commodities and Export Department of the ministry, Suleman Audu, claimed that Nigeria was actively taking part in the World Trade Organization’s current negotiations to advance e-commerce.

He said, “Nigeria has yet to fully harness the inherent opportunities in the e-commerce value chain, largely due to inadequate investment, coupled with inadequate information on the opportunities in the sector and the inability of the government to provide the required enabling environment.

“As such, the government has identified e-commerce as a major priority programme that will play a critical role in the promotion of commodity trade, especially with the realities of the unprecedented COVID-19 global pandemic.

“The Federal Government is also committed to developing an e-commerce strategy in line with the Federal Government’s post-COVID-19 recovery plan, to encourage investment in the e-commerce value chain,” he said.

The minister further stated that the ministry was enthusiastic about the expanding investment opportunities in the value chain of e-commerce, which had the potential to considerably increase the nation’s gross domestic product.

The sector recently increased from 14% in 2019 to 17% in 2020.

Adebayo added, “The current e-commerce spending in Nigeria is estimated at about $13bn per annum and is projected to rise to about $75bn in revenues per annum by 2025. The market outlook for Nigeria’s e-commerce shows that the number of online shoppers in the country, which was at 76.7 million in 2021, is expected to hit 122.5 million by 2025. The figures from the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System also show that Nigeria’s e-payment transactions increased by 85.5 per cent year-on-year to N171.99trn in August 2021.”

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