The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment says current e-commerce spending in Nigeria is estimated at about $13 billion per annum and projected to rise to $75 billion in revenues by 2025.
Dr Evelyn Ngige, Permanent Secretary of the ministry, disclosed this on Tuesday in Abuja, at the second National e-commerce Roundtable organised by the ministry.
“E-commerce in Post COVID-19 Economy, Potential Change in Business Process Outlook and Shifting Domestic and Global Policies on Commodity Trade,” is the theme of the roundtable.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the roundtable’s emphasis is on the development of non-oil sector to generate employment and sustainable revenue earnings.
In a keynote address, the permanent secretary, represented by Mr Suleiman Audu, Director, Commodities and Export Department (CED) of the ministry, said e-commerce had grown from 14 per cent in 2019 to 17 per cent in 2020.
According to her, the ministry is passionate about the growing investment opportunities in the e-commerce value chain, which are capable of contributing significantly to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“Interestingly, e-commerce provides an alternative to sustain businesses and preserve millions of jobs in the face of COVID-19 challenge.
“For instance, in China, e-commerce companies played a key role in the supply of food and other essential commodities to residents of Wuhan during the knockdown period in 2020.
“In addition, Amazon, a U.S. based company, as a leading e-commerce company in the world, expanded and employed additional 175,000 new workers during the period due to increasing online demands for goods and services,” Ngige noted.
She expressed displeasure on the shutting down of many industrial facilities, restriction of goods and movement and disruption of global supply chain due to the economic effect of the global pandemic.
This, she said no doubt brought about a rise in unemployment rate, decline in revenue and increase in food security crisis.
The permanent secretary said the roundtable would widen its scope to cover emerging issues in e-commerce landscape and implications for Nigeria, particularly relating to operational, regulatory framework, and other key enablers.
She enjoined all to be forthcoming with ideas to guide policy makers, regulators and key players in the e-commerce ecosystem.
This to enable them to provide required enabling environment and incentives in line with global best practices for business to thrive in Nigeria.
In a remark, the Director, CED, Audu, described the e-commerce market as one of the thriving and promising markets globally, with estimated global sales of over $29 trillion dollars.
Audu, represented by Deputy Director, CED, Mr Kaura Irimiya, said in spite of growing opportunities in the e-commerce sub-sector, Nigeria had not been able to fully explore its enormous potential due to inadequate investment in its value chain.
He said that inadequate information on the opportunities in the sector and the inability of the government to provide the required enabling environment could also be contributory factors.
The director said the trend led to the entrance of payment service providers into e-commerce market.
Audu said that the demand for electronic transactions attracted payment facilitators from Europe and Asia who were now investing in Nigerian electronic infrastructure project.
He gave assurance that the roundtable would highlight critical issues which required attention of relevant stakeholders to develop strategic framework to improve performance of e-commerce sector in Nigeria.
Retired Col. Hameed Ali, Comptroller General of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), said the e-commerce market had been thriving and collaboration was important to enhance the sector.
Ali, represented by Mr David Anikoh, Deputy Superintendent, NCS, said that the service had been collaborating with the ministry.
He said it was also collaborating with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) on standards to improve e-commerce market in Nigeria, especially in areas of data collection and African Continental Free Trade Area. (NAN)