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Nigeria’s E-Commerce Landscape: A Catalyst for Small Business Empowerment this Black Friday

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A publication by ECDB states that Nigeria ranks 40th in global e-commerce, and is set to generate $6.65 billion by the end of 2023. Nigeria’s e-commerce landscape is said to be on the verge of a transformative revolution, with anticipated growth from 2023 to 2027 at 10.8%.

Black Friday is arguably Nigeria’s biggest shopping season, where consumers hunt for unbeatable deals. Interestingly, the unsung heroes of this retail frenzy are the small businesses powered by e-commerce platforms.

This Black Friday, we spotlight the important role of Nigeria’s leading e-commerce platforms, like Jiji, Jumia, and Konga, in empowering these small enterprises.

Small Businesses – The Lifeblood of Nigeria’s Economy

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) form the backbone of Nigeria’s economy. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, they contribute 48% of Nigeria’s GDP and employ over 84% of the workforce. However, these businesses often face challenges in scaling up, particularly during major shopping events like Black Friday.

E-commerce platforms have emerged as a lifeline for these businesses, offering them a unique opportunity to thrive and prosper.

The Nigerian E-commerce Renaissance

In recent years, Nigeria has witnessed a burgeoning e-commerce ecosystem, with platforms like Jiji, Jumia, and Konga leading the way. This has not only changed the way people shop but has also created a thriving marketplace for small businesses.

In a chat with Majolie Obaje, PR and Marketing Head at Jiji Nigeria, on how the platform supports small businesses, she said: At Jiji, we’re dedicated to helping small businesses increase their sales and revenue, especially on special seasons like Black Friday. This is why we give them visibility to our vast audience of 12m+ users, affordable Boost Packages to make up to 50x more sales than they would unboosted, dedicated support managers, and educational resources.

“This Black Friday, we’ve also prepared special price discounts on all our Boost Packages to support their businesses. Our commitment is to continually empower small business owners and sellers to not just survive but thrive, even in trying times like now. And we’re doing this for over 200,000 businesses and sellers on our platform.”

The Empowering Role of E-Commerce in Black Friday

E-commerce platforms offer small businesses a level playing field during Black Friday. The opportunities presented by these platforms include:

  • Global reach

Small businesses can showcase their products and services to a nationwide, and in some cases, international audience. Black Friday becomes a time when local artisans can become national entrepreneurs.

  • Cost-effective promotion

Traditional advertising can be expensive for small businesses. This is why E-commerce platforms provide affordable means of promoting Black Friday deals. Thereby allowing these sellers and business owners to channel more resources towards improving their products and services.

  • Secure transactions

Platforms like Jiji, Jumia, and Konga prioritise trust and security, which reassures buyers and facilitates more successful transactions. This is especially crucial for small businesses aiming to build credibility.

The future of Small Business empowerment

As Nigeria’s e-commerce landscape continues to evolve, the role of small businesses in the national economy is expected to grow up to 10.8% by 2027. The promise of sustainable growth and empowerment of small enterprises are at the heart of the transformation.

Black Friday remains an annual reminder of the potential and impact that e-commerce can have on Nigeria’s small businesses.


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E-Business

e-Governance Reform Saves Edo State N60Bn

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Donatus Ojiefoh, Edo State Commissioner of Mines and Energy, has said Mr Godwin Obaseki, state governor, e-governance in the state civil service sector has saved the sum of N60 billion, an amount that would have been expended in the procurement of office stationery.

Ojiefoh in an interview with newsmen in Benin City also disclosed that the state government reforms in the electricity and the solid mineral sectors have repositioned the state as one of the most businesses friendly in Nigeria.

He noted that sustaining the state government reforms and achievements, voters in the forthcoming September 21st governorship election should not make the mistake of voting for a candidate that lacks understanding in investment and development.

He said harnessing maximally the abundant mineral resources, the state government has registered the Edo State Mining and Investment Company and has obtained 40 mining licenses adding that government reforms put in place has continued to yield positive results.

“If Obaseki was the governor before now Edo state would have been one of the richest states in the federation. It is crystal clear that the next governor that is coming must be able to match Obaseki’s shoes, somebody who understands the investment and development status of the state at the moment.

“Edo state is ten years ahead of other states apart from Lagos. Edo has put over 20 million files into the e-governance structure since the state was created and is the only state operating 100 per cent e-governance thereby the delay and bureaucracy in governance is over.

“Obaseki has saved over N60 billion for Edo State just on office stationery alone. Whatever paper you see in my office are external papers or files. It takes a man with a potent brain that understands saving system to achieve that and we are the only state in Nigeria that has completely moved from analogue to digital.”


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Scammers Target Facebook Business Accounts using Meta’s Infrastructure and Branding

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Kaspersky has discovered a new phishing scheme targeting Facebook business accounts, using legitimate Facebook infrastructure to send deceptive emails with threats of account suspension.

Cybercriminals have devised a method to use authentic Facebook functions to send fake suspension warnings to business accounts. These emails, originating from Facebook, contain alarming messages such as “24 Hours Left to Request Review. See Why”.

Clicking the email link leads to a genuine Facebook page displaying a similar warning. After that, a user is redirected to a phishing site disguised with Meta branding, reducing the time to resolve the issue from 24 to 12 hours. Finally, the phishing site initially asks for innocuous information, followed by a request for the account’s email, or phone number and password.

The attackers utilise compromised Facebook accounts to send these notifications. They change the account name to a threatening message and the profile picture to an exclamation mark, after which they create posts mentioning the targeted business accounts.

And because delivery is via the actual Facebook infrastructure, these notifications are guaranteed to reach their intended recipients.

“Even notifications that appear legitimate and come from a trusted source such as Facebook can be deceptive. It’s crucial to carefully examine the links you are prompted to follow, especially when it involves entering data or making payments. This can make a significant difference in protecting your business accounts from phishing attacks,” comments Andrey Kovtun, a security expert at Kaspersky.

 


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Lagos State Government, Interswitch Group Sign MoU Smart Health Information Platform

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The Lagos State Government has officially signed a concession agreement with one of Africa’s leading integrated technology enablers, Interswitch, through its Healthtech subsidiary, Interswitch eClat, to develop and manage the Lagos Smart Health Information Platform (LAGSHIP).

Nigeria’s healthcare industry remains grossly underfunded with several other challenges, lacking a truly national/integrated framework for healthcare service delivery due to fragmentation among health stakeholders.

A recent report from Knight Frank estimates Nigeria would require about $82 billion of investment in health-care assets to reach the global average. Healthcare institutions continue to struggle with daily operations due to a myriad of constraints and process inefficiencies.

The foregoing is the backdrop against which this latest public-private partnership milestone championed by the Lagos State Government is being launched with a view to positioning Lagos, Nigeria’s largest economic hub as a model for sub-nationals in strategic healthcare delivery interventions.

The Executive Governor of Lagos State, H.E. Babajide Olusola Sanwoolu highlighted the significance of the Lagos State Smart Health Information Platform Project as one unprecedented in Nigeria till date.

The Governor, in his remarks asserted that “The signing of the Concession Agreement between the Lagos State Government and Interswitch for the implementation of the Smart Health Information Platform (SHIP) is a ground-breaking development which signifies the start of a comprehensive technological overhaul in Lagos State’s health sector, aimed at enhancing residents’ access to healthcare services.”

Governor Sanwoolu further remarked that “I believe that this platform represents a significant and innovative approach to utilizing technology for accessing health information. It is poised to deliver numerous benefits and eliminate payment barriers, thereby encouraging citizens to actively engage with the process.”

Capitalizing on over 2 decades of experience and strategic expertise digitizing transactions and aggregating technology platforms across Africa, by virtue of this concession, Interswitch will support the State Government in securely leveraging data harnessed from electronic medical records deployed across all hospitals (public and private) and allied locations within the industry value chain, to create enhanced experiences for all stakeholders, from administrators to medical personnel, patients, as well as for better planning and policy-making, ultimately.

The strategic objective is to address gaps within the healthcare delivery system by creating an ecosystem that facilitates deeper connections between stakeholders and essentially addressing fragmentation by connecting patients to doctors, practices to public offices and patients to their medical data, thereby solving the operational problems of hospitals and healthcare providers through the robust over-arching technology infrastructure that LAGOS-SHIP represents.

Commenting after the signing ceremony, which was jointly signed by the Honourable Commissioner for Health, Dr. Akin Abayomi and the Special Adviser to The Governor on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs), Mrs. Bukola Odoe, and witnessed by the Executive Governor and selected members of the Lagos State Executive Council at the State House, Marina, Mitchell Elegbe, Founder and Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Interswitch, remarked:

“22 years ago, we set out with a clear vision to solve social problems in Nigeria, starting by digitizing the use of cash, making it available to Nigerians just-in-time. Today, despite the incremental efforts of Interswitch and other players over the years, digital payments are estimated to be still less than 20% of total transactions in the economy.

This realization suggests that there is tremendous value, financial and otherwise, locked up in sectors and areas where government is a key player, particularly in the aspects of healthcare, transportation, and other basic social services.

This vision we had from the outset underpinned our acquisition of eClat Healthcare 5 years ago, and initiatives such as Lagos-SHIP are unfolding strategic interventions along that transformational roadmap.

We are highly delighted that after a rigorous selection process, the Lagos State Government has deemed it fit to partner with us at the Interswitch Group on this epoch-making journey to digitize the healthcare system, uniting disparate elements into one holistic platform that creates value and enhances the experience of all stakeholders, just like we’ve done in the sphere of financial services, leveraging technology.”

Also speaking at the signing ceremony, Managing Director for Interswitch eClat, Interswitch’s Healthtech Venture, Dr. Wallace Ogufere opined that the Lagos State Government’s pioneering initiative in the form of LAGOS-SHIP is significant in terms of advancing the outlook for Healthcare Management and Administration in a frontier-market such as Nigeria, and moving closer to what obtains in developed economies.

In his words “The go-live of the Lagos Smart Health Information Platform will significantly close many identified gaps in electronic medical records management, essentially addressing long-standing constraints including process inefficiencies, limited transparency and inadequacy of necessary tools and supplies, among other challenges.”

This partnership between the Lagos State Government and Interswitch represents a unique model for public-private partnership in the healthcare delivery space, and one which is expected to be a veritable reference point for national and sub-national governments in Africa going forward.


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