FG sensitises stakeholders on national e-commerce strategy 

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By Rukayat Moisemhe & Oluwatope Lawanson

The Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment (FMITI), on Wednesday trained stakeholders in the e-commerce ecosystem, to fully harness the potential of the National E-Commerce Strategy (NeCS).
The Permanent Secretary, FMITI, Mr Nura Rimi, at the one-day National Sensitisation Workshop in Lagos, said the NeCS would better position Nigeria across market networks.
Rimi, represented by the Director, Commodities and Export Department, Mr Kaura Irimiya, said the NeCS would help Nigeria to create and ensure sustainable market access, for the nation’s non-oil commodities and services to the largest network of markets.
He stated that the implementation of the strategy would serve as a backbone for actualising President Tinubu’s vision, acting as a catalyst for sustainable economic growth, job creation, and socio-economic empowerment.
He noted that the benefits of nurturing a robust e-commerce ecosystem, extended far beyond commercial realms.
According to him, by nurturing entrepreneurship and fostering innovation, e-commerce empowers individuals to unleash their creative prowess, and seize the myriad opportunities presented by the digital economy.
Rimi said in an era where technological advancements dismantled traditional trade barriers, e-commerce was the way for Nigerian businesses to expand their horizon, penetrate new markets, and bolster global competitiveness.
“By embracing digital platforms and innovative technologies, Nigerian entrepreneurs and enterprises can transcend geographical constraints and unlock untold avenues of prosperity.
“Available data has shown that the current market opportunity for electronic commerce in Nigeria is over N255 billion annually, growing at a rapid rate of 25 percent per year and has attracted over $200 million in foreign investment.
“Also, experts in the Nigerian financial service sector have estimated that Nigeria’s e-commerce market was currently worth about $13 billion (about N4.01trillion) in 2017 and projected to $50 billion (N15.45trillion) over the next decade.
“This, therefore, calls for an enabling environment to rapidly evolve, to drive the growth of the sector, and contribute significantly to economic growth,” he said.
Lagos Commissioner for Ministry of Commerce, Cooperative, Trade and Investment, Mrs Folashade Ambrose-Medebem, said the event was a useful public–private engagement mechanism, to grow the economy through e-commerce.
Ambrose-Medebem stated that the
unprecedented impact of e-commerce, as a catalyst in enhancing sustainable growth and economic development, offered a level playing ground for large businesses, as well as small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs), to operate in the global market place.
She noted that as the world kept evolving, innovation had become the cornerstone for driving the economic growth and development of nations, with e-commerce as a key component of the contemporary e-world.
“E-commerce has come to stay as a veritable tool for sustainable economic growth and development but this veritable tool as a medium for access to market in Nigeria, is yet to be fully tapped into.
“In spite of the paradigm shift in the mode of commercial transaction, occasioned by the advent of the internet, making it possible for transitions to take place virtually from anywhere and anytime, a vast majority of Nigerians are yet to embrace this revolution.
“This veritable tool must be perfected for our dear state and nation in general, to take advantage of the potentialities in Africa Continental Free Trade Area(AfCFTA) market.
“To bridge the gap between the producers of goods and services in our nation, across to all other countries in the continent,” she said.
Comptroller General, Nigeria Customs Service, Bashir Adeniyi, represented by Chief Superintendent Christopher Abah, urged Nigerians to tap into the enormous potentialities in e-commerce.
This, he said, was important because trading had shifted gear and the customs service was committed to playing a pivotal role in ensuring seamless trade in line with the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Tinubu.
Mr Emmanuel Kwaya, Acting Director- General, Raw Materials Research and Development Council, said the proper implementation of the NeCS would help increase market access for many SMEs .
Kwaya, represented by Mr Oluwashola Marinho, Deputy Director, Lagos Directorate, added that it would also increase the penetration of e-transactions in the country, as well as enhance the ease of doing business. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Idowu Ariwodola/Ifeyinwa Omowole

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