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How Konga is Bridging E-Commerce Gap for Millions of Unreached, Under-Served Nigerians

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For a population of over 190 million, it is perhaps shocking to countenance the fact that about 70% of Nigerians – a whopping 130 million – are still skeptical of shopping online and yet to be captured in the e-Commerce net – an anomaly that Konga’s futuristic business model is gradually catering to.

 

According to latest estimates from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the global e-commerce market is worth around $22.1 trillion.

 

Data from research firm Statista also indicates that e-Commerce in Africa accounted for $16.5 billion in revenue in 2017, with forecasts estimating revenue in the sector to gross the $29 billion mark by 2022.

 

Interestingly, Africa’s share of the global e-commerce market is expected to grow even more significantly in the years ahead, backed by factors such as increasing levels of literacy, fall in average smartphone prices, mobile adoption, growing internet penetration and innovative payment solutions.

 

The foregoing has seen projections of Africa as the next emerging market to make significant strides in online shopping.

 

Perhaps justifying its status as the continent’s biggest market and most populous country, Nigeria is further estimated to play home to about 40% of the continent’s e-Commerce ventures within its shores – a positive development that has, nevertheless, failed in ensuring that the bulk of the country’s under-served or unreached millions partake in the e-Commerce revolution.

A number of factors are responsible for the current state of affairs.

 

Despite the sweeping changes caused by the e-Commerce bug which has bitten a lot of savvy Nigerians, shopping in Nigeria is still largely traditional and the issue of trust has further hindered the pace of growth.

 

Further adding to the dire situation is the sheer proportion of Nigerians who are left out of the equation.

 

Indeed, to millions of Nigerians who reside outside the cosmopolitan cities such as Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt, for instance, online shopping is a hard sell.

 

Through a realistic and well-thought out business model, Konga is gradually changing the narrative in the following ways:

 

Growing chain of nationwide physical retail stores: With over 30 brick-and-mortar stores spread nationwide and many more springing up all over Nigeria’s vast landscape, Konga has given millions of unreached Nigerians a reason to smile. A bold, ambitious plan to spread its tentacles across the length and breadth of the nation, with the establishment of at least one store in each of Nigeria’s 774 local government areas, will unleash the power of the country’s booming population and see e-Commerce finally achieving its huge potential in Nigeria and beyond.

 

Improved Logistics means swift delivery: Through Kxpress, its in-house logistics company, Konga boasts a considerable and growing fleet of line-haul trucks, vans, buses and motorbikes through which it has bridged the distance between the average shopper in the hinterlands and a taste of the e-commerce experience. Kxpress not only handles last-mile deliveries but has also received huge investment which has expanded its network. Also available are pick-up points and distribution centres in every part of Nigeria, further ensuring that more Nigerians can join the e-Commerce train.

Suite ofCutting-edge Payment Solutions: Riding on KongaPay, an internally-owned Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) licensed payment system — Konga offers all classes of Nigerians a secure and reliable e-wallet that works with all banks in Nigeria. The app ensures that the customer’s money is held in escrow until a sales transaction is completed successfully. Through strategic partnerships with world-class payment solutions providers such as Visa, Konga has also ensured that this recurring pain-point is becoming a thing of the past. It is, however, through the other options it offers shoppers that Konga has distinguished itself. These include payment on delivery which it re-introduced in August 2018, payment on pick-up of items and cash payment in all of its stores nationwide.

 

Opportunity to self-fulfil: Nigerians love the physical touch that an offline or brick-and-mortar store offers. Through its nationwide network of retail stores, Konga has given millions of skeptical or under-served Nigerians a platform on which to play an active participatory role in e-Commerce. Shoppers in all nooks and crannies of Nigeria can visit a Konga store of their choice to pay and collect any item of their choice, while for many others, the store represents a useful pick-up location for self-fulfilling their online orders. What’s more, a visitor to any of the stores can choose to place an order for a physically unavailable item(s) for delivery to their homes/locations or personally pick-up at a later date.


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Ugo Onwuaso is an ICT enthusiast. He believes technology should be used for general good. He holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from the Lagos state University. Dear Reader, Your support matters. But we believe that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. That is why, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and finance and how they affect lives. Our incisive and analytical view of how technology news affects the daily life help individuals and organizations make up their minds. Quality journalism costs money. Today, we're asking that you support us to do more. Kindly support our effort to deliver technology and finance journalism to everyone in the world. Donate as little as N1,000. Bank transfers can be made to: UBA Plc 1017156876 Communication Week Media Ltd

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Tinubu Has Surrendered Nigeria’s Sovereignty to IMF, World Bank – HURIWA

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Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has condemned President Bola Tinubu’s recent economic policies, saying they have undermined Nigeria’s sovereignty.

Tinubu Has Surrendered Nigeria’s Sovereignty to IMF, World Bank – HURIWA

Bola Tinubu

HURIWA noted that the condemnation comes in the wake of Tinubu’s dramatic policy shift, which starkly contrasts with his previous stance against similar policies under former President Goodluck Jonathan.

In a press statement, HURIWA recalled that before ascending to the Presidency, Tinubu was a vocal critic of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank’s economic prescriptions.

According to the group, during Jonathan’s administration, Tinubu, and other prominent figures, including then-opposition leader Muhammadu Buhari, fiercely opposed the IMF and World Bank’s recommendations such as the removal of subsidies and the devaluation of the Naira, arguing that these policies would harm Nigeria’s economic stability and undermine the nation’s sovereignty.

“However, since taking office, Tinubu has adopted and intensified these very policies, leading to accusations of hypocrisy from various quarters.

“Critics have criticized Tinubu for this reversal, labeling it a betrayal of his earlier principles. According to them, Tinubu’s current endorsement of the IMF and World Bank measures, which he previously opposed, represents a significant departure from his earlier stance and effectively compromises Nigeria’s economic independence,” HURIWA stated.

HURIWA echoed these concerns, arguing that the devaluation of the Naira and the implementation of foreign-influenced economic policies weaken Nigeria’s financial sovereignty.

The association pointed out that by aligning Nigeria’s economic strategy with foreign interests, the current administration is ceding control over the country’s financial system to external forces, stressing that this shift not only diminishes the nation’s economic autonomy but also places Nigeria at the mercy of international economic pressures.

In addition to criticizing the economic policies, HURIWA also linked these measures to broader security concerns.

The association contended that the failure of Nigeria’s security agencies to effectively protect the country’s borders is directly related to the administration’s economic strategies.

According to HURIWA, inadequate border security has allowed armed non-state actors and criminals to infiltrate the country, further threatening Nigeria’s sovereignty. This situation, HURIWA argues, is a consequence of prioritizing foreign economic directives over national stability and security.

HURIWA’s critique extended to a call for the government to adhere to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Act, which obliges the administration to stabilize the Naira.

The association emphasized that protecting the national currency is crucial for maintaining Nigeria’s economic sovereignty and stability. Additionally, HURIWA urged the government to improve efforts to secure Nigeria’s borders, reinforcing measures to prevent the infiltration of terrorists, arms smugglers, and other illicit actors.

Drawing comparisons with other nations, HURIWA highlighted how countries like the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom have successfully defended their economic and territorial sovereignty.

“These countries have implemented policies that prioritize national interests, maintaining strong control over their economic systems and borders. For instance, the United States has resisted external pressures to devalue the Dollar, ensuring a stable currency that supports its economic strength. Similarly, Australia and Canada have fortified their borders against illegal entries, safeguarding their territorial integrity”, HURIWA added

HURIWA further argued that Nigeria’s political leaders should adopt similar strategies to protect both economic stability and national security.

The association suggested that by resisting foreign-imposed economic measures and focusing on strengthening border protection, Nigeria can safeguard its sovereignty and ensure a more secure and prosperous future.

“HURIWA’s criticism of President Tinubu’s policy reversal underscores the broader implications of adopting IMF and World Bank directives. Our call for adherence to the CBN Act and the enhancement of border security highlights the interconnectedness of economic policies and national sovereignty.

“As Nigeria faces ongoing economic and security challenges, Our recommendations offer a pragmatic approach to achieving stability and defending the nation’s interests against external influences,” the statement added.

 


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Overlapping Regulations, Major Challenge for Manufacturing — CPPE

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The Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise, (CPPE), has lamented the crippling effect of the overlapping regulatory policies of government on businesses, and called for the adoption of good regulatory governance principles to unlock the full capacity of businesses and industries.

Speaking on the theme, “Harmonising Regulatory Compliance: The impact of overlapping regulatory functions on business operations”, at Chief Executive Officer’s Breakfast Meeting of the Ikeja Branch of the Manufacturer Association of Nigeria (MAN), Dr. Muda Yusuf, the Director of the Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise, (CPPE), said the call was particularly important as this was not the best of time for manufacturers and investors in the country.

Yusuf said regulatory risk was one of the biggest risks that businesses had to cope with in the Nigerian economy.

This, he noted, could manifest as overlapping regulatory regimes with too many regulations, both sporadic and frequent regulatory changes and absence of dispute resolution mechanism between business and regulators have several cases of overlapping regulatory functions creating challenges for manufacturers, hence, the need for regulatory needs to be kept to the barest minimum.

He stressed that the regulators’ purpose and objectives should be clearly defined and communicated to the regulator, the regulated and the general public.

He said stakeholders should be able to predict with a high degree of confidence what decision a regulator is likely to make in a particular circumstance.

In his remarks, President of MAN, Francis Meshioye, said while regulations were essential for safety and quality, the overlapping and sometimes contradictory regulations increase operational costs and ultimately hinder business growth.

He noted that Nigeria’s regulatory landscape was characterised by a multitude of agencies with its own set of rules and requirements.

“These bottlenecks have adverse effects such as operational inefficiencies, increase compliance cost, delayed production and risk,” he said.


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CIBN Commences Tutorial Session for Agency Banking Certification Examination

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Tutorial sessions for the students registered for the October 2024 diet examinations for Agency Banking Certification of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) have begun.

The first in the series of the tutorial session commenced on Saturday July 20, 2024 and  will end on Sunday July 28, 2024.The dates for subsequent sessions being jointly organised by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria and FIC Professionals Network Plc, will be announced later.

The organisers are being supported by the industry associations comprising of the Association of Mobile Money and Bank Agents in Nigeria (AMMBAN), Association of Mobile Money Operators of Nigeria (AMMON) and Association of Mobile Bank Operators (AMBO).

The sessions will focus on the four modules of the Foundation level of the Certification and avail the students the tips on how to prepare for and pass the examinations.

It would be recalled that CIBN unveiled the agency banking certification programme last year for Point of Sales (POS) agents, NIN /BVN agents, Agent network managers, customer service officers, agent banking personnel in the banks and Fintech companies.

One of the organisers, Mr. Segun Shonubi,  Executive Director, FIC Professionals Network Plc stated that the main purpose of the tutorial sessions was to help the students to better understand the course and enhance their performance in the examinations.

The examinations which have been scheduled for Tuesday, October 8, 2024 and Wednesday, October 9, 2024 will be conducted through Remote Online Proctoring to enable students write from the comforts of their homes or any place of their choices.

In addition, plans are being put in place for practice questions to be made available for the students on the Institute’s e-learning platform. This is to enable the students to practice and get acquainted with the format to aid their preparations.

Registration for the examinations is still open to interested students via www.myabc.ng till September16, 2024.

Mr Ken Opara, former President and Chairman of Council, CIBN, said the Agent banking certification program (ABC) was introduced to address capacity challenge in the ecosystem.

“Agent banking has been the key driver of financial inclusion, which creates financial access points and ultimately eradicating poverty.

“It is democratizing banking services, taking it to the grass root and connecting to the nooks and crane of the country.

“The certification programme, which details provides all round knowledge, practical engagement with industry experts and participation in standard procedures for conducting Agent banking business in Nigeria,” he said.

Fasasi Sarafadeen Atanda, member, CIBN sub-committee on Agent Banking Certification programme, said that Nigerians can now look forward to more knowledgeable and professional POS Agents, mobile money agents, bank customer service desk that knows what to do when you are debited by POS, more understanding from security agents that will see certified agents and treat cases from agent transaction professionally etc.

“It has been a lot of work from the ideation, to conception, to proposition, to adoption and to commission in the programme.

“There is a lot of complains about proliferation of unregistered agents in the ecosystem. What we are doing is banking because when you are doing cash -in cash- out, account opening among others. Most of these services require professionalism.

“The account opening that we pushed for, resulted to not palatable experience because greater per centage of accounts opened at agent location were used for fraud. This actually made some banks to stop account opening at agent location.

“Not every agent can handle Biometric Verification Number and National Identity Number, any agent that wants to handle these registrations must be certified by CIBN. We have seen that most of the error seen in the process are from agent location.

“They do sharp practices, unethical practices, not doing due-diligence due to poor training and lack of professionalism, if they had pass through this process of certification, they would have been trained on maintaining ethical standard,” he said.

 


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