Amidst the evolving strategies and initiatives to halt the spread of coronavirus pandemic around the globe, shifting consumer behavior to online trade channels and digital platforms can provide the needed incentive to keep people safe and by extension promote the growth of Nigeria’s e-commerce industry.
Keeping safe and staying alive is everyone’s most cherished watchword at this time. The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in many of the countries including Nigeria is not abating despite concerted steps by governments, private sector players, multilateral organisations and other stakeholders to halt the rate of transmission.
In the face of the escalation of the pandemic, the Nigerian government and 36 state governments are strengthening enforcement and compliance of residents with the stay-at-home order aimed to check movement of people.
By implication, Nigerians will stay at home for longer days, weeks or even months. Disruption in the logistics and supply chain that has already affected the availability of basic essential goods will also be disrupted further. The likelihood of a shortage of foods, water, toiletries, drugs and other essential items may result in days to come, as existing products in the warehouses and those on the shelves at the supermarkets and malls may run out.
As farmers are unable to go to farms and producers unable to produce more products or push out inventories in the warehouses, zero productivity and deserted open market stalls would further impact negatively on the already weak national economy.
As the ongoing multi-stakeholder actions redouble to end COVID-19, it is salutary to mention the important role that logistics service operators have been playing in helping to keep people safe at home since the commencement of the presidential 14-day lockdown in Lagos and Ogun States and Abuja, on March 29, which has seen a further 2 weeks extension till the end of April.
Jumia has been at the forefront of e-Commerce operators in Nigeria that has implemented a deliberate strategy to promote the safety of Nigerians in the midst of COVID-19.
Aligned with its recent COVID-19 inspired campaign theme, ‘Stay Safe with Jumia. Shop from home and have it delivered contact-free!’, Jumia promotes ‘cashless’ payments and ‘contactless’ delivery of prepaid packages to curb COVID-19 in Africa. The ingenuity entails taking measures that keep customers, delivery agents and partners safe by leveraging on JumiaPay payment platform that enables consumers to make prepaid payments for products online and get them delivered without a direct body contact or cash exchange with the delivery agents.
Recently, Jumia has announced partnerships with brands like Reckitt Benckiser, Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola to enable customers to have access to essential hygiene products at affordable prices during the lockdown.
According to Massimiliano Spalazzi, CEO of Jumia Nigeria, the company’s well-trained delivery agents enforce necessary standards during delivery of products purchased and paid for online, to the customers at home. They are instructed to call or text on arrival at the customer’s place and drop off the package at their doorstep, then step back to the safe distance limit and wait for the customer to take the package before leaving.
“The health and safety of our customers and delivery agents are our absolute priority. We are uniquely positioned to step up and be part of Africa’s response strategy in this challenging time. We have implemented a “contactless” delivery option, which eliminates any possibility of physical contact. Convenience, social distancing and cashless measures are woven into one solution to combat the current situation,” Spalazzi stated.
Other logistics firms like Konga, Jiji are encouraged to adopt Jumia’s contactless delivery model so the country can reduce person-to-person transmission of coronavirus while at the same time help to meet the surge in demand for essential goods and services already triggered by lockdown in most parts of Nigeria.
It is worthy of commendation to also note that through Jumia Logistics, the leading e-Commerce company has been enabling micro, small and medium businesses to stay afloat amidst the pandemic while at the same time ensuring people get their essential needs delivered to them in the comfort of their homes and keep safe.
Even ahead of the outbreak of coronavirus in Nigeria, Jumia had responded to the challenges within the Nigeria logistics ecosystem by developing the appropriate technology and data-driven model. It did this by opening up its logistics and marketing services to third parties and partners including Gokada and restaurant, kitchen, ticketing and airline service providers.
Through its vast data-driven logistics and huge online marketplace, Jumia facilitates one big virtual meeting place for MSMEs, retailers and buyers to provide end-to-end contactless supply and demand chain.
Commenting on the Jumia Logistics, Country Manager for Jumia Services, Tolulope Geroge-Yanwah, said Jumia leverages major pillars to scale its third-party logistics service, and these include unparalleled physical and network infrastructure; and its people.
Others are its proprietary technology tools powering the entire network; its scale and its omnipresence – 25% of deliveries in 2019 was in rural areas, 50% in urban cities, and 25% in small cities.
Also, Jumia Nigeria through its point-to-point line hauls services has an established network that can handle bulk movements in key markets across different product categories. It also backstops for third parties by providing highly skilled and trained manpower in tackling logistics challenges.
A shift to the online trade channels can indeed, provide Nigerians with the needed incentive to keep safe and by extension promote the growth of Nigeria’s e-commerce industry in the midst of the increasing rate of coronavirus transmission.
Jumia beyond any reasonable doubt has proven to be the number one e-Commerce and logistics enabler and safest way to shop as the COVID-19 scourge rages. Its unwavering commitment to investment and innovation has also endeared it as the number one preferred online platform of choice that has played and continues to play critical roles in our socio-economic life as individuals, households, firms and government and the future.
These and many more are reasons the government should accord e-Commerce operators their right place, as done in other developed countries where e-Commerce platforms serve as the critical logistics and supply backbone during emergency situations including the time of lockdown.
In the wake of the rising spread of coronavirus, countries such as China, U.S., UK, Spain, Italy and others relied on e-Commerce channels for the logistics and supply of food, water, drugs, toiletries and essential needs to the people during lockdowns. In the U.S., e-commerce giant Amazon even implemented fresh employment of over 100,000 Americans as a result of increased orders for supplies occasioned by the COVID-19 outbreak.
Agip shut oil facility in Bayelsa due to oil spillage, environmental pollution reported
Agip on Wednesday confirmed an oil leak, resulting in a shutdown.
The Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) has confirmed the shutdown of its Idu oilfields at Egbebiri settlement within Biseni in Yenagoa Local Government Area in Bayelsa, due to an oil spillage.
A Joint Investigative Visit (JIV) report on the incident said that the leakage at the facility could be traced to equipment failure due to a rupture at the wellhead.
According to a report from the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Eni, the parent company of NAOC, in a response statement, said the facility was shut down to prevent further damage to the environment.
What Eni is saying
An Eni Spokesperson on behalf of the Italian Energy firm, in a statement said, “As soon as the incident was reported, we activated our oil spill response, shut in the well and notified government regulatory agencies.
“The Joint Investigation Visit (JIV) was carried out on 09/05/2021, with participation of community representatives and the government regulatory agencies.
“The event occurred within the Company’s well head location which is paved and walled round. There is no significant third party impact,” Eni stated.
Environmental Rights Group reports environmental degradation
An environmental rights group, Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN), however, said that the incident which discharged crude and associated gas had severely polluted the environment.
The Non-Governmental Organisation said that a visit to the spill site showed pictorial evidence of the crude spreading beyond NAOC’s right of way as nearby vegetation were affected as a result of the crude impact.
The Head of Field Operations at ERA/FoEN, Mr Alagoa Morris, in a field report on the spill said the Idu fields was notorious for frequent spills caused by equipment failure.
He said, “The people of Egbebiri in Biseni kingdom have experienced several oil spills over the years. And all the oil spill incidents documented by the Environmental Rights Action/ Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) in this community environment have occurred as a result of equipment failure and on Wellheads.
“ERA/FoEN has had cause to visit the environment of Idu Well 5 and 11 located within the same place in the past and it has always been Idu Well 11 spewing crude oil into the environment.
“Available records from ERA/FoEN indicate that there have been previous oil spills from this particular Idu Well 11 operated by Agip. Before concluding this Field Report, ERA/FoEN confirmed that Joint Investigation Visit (JIV) was carried out on Sunday, 9th May 2021.
“This is why the official Spill Reference No 2021/LAR/028/058 is indicated in this report; sourced from the JIV report. Cause of spill was attributed to equipment failure,” ERA/FoEN stated.
The report quoted a resident of the community simply identified as Georgie as saying that the spill incident of May 7 spilled oil from around 10 p.m till about 8 a.m the next day before the leak was stopped adding that the level of damage was enormous.
What you should know
It can be recalled that in a similar circumstance, Shell Petroleum Development Company reported an oil pipeline spillage at its Okordia-Rumekpe 14-inch crude truck line, discharging about 213 barrels of crude oil into the Ikarama community in Bayelsa State and polluting about 1.34 hectares of land.
This new leakage is the latest in a series of oil spillages by the multinational oil exploration and production companies, which has put them in conflict with the host communities.
Nigeria records system collapse during holidays
Nigeria’s national electricity grid collapsed on Wednesday morning.
The Nigerian grid has experienced a partial collapse, dealing a blow for stay at home Nigerians during the holidays.
This was confirmed in a statement by the Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC), as seen by Nairametrics.
What EKEDC is saying about the grid collapse:
“Dear customer, there is a partial system collapse on the National Grid. Our TCN partners are working to restore supply immediately. Please bear with us.”
According to latest reports, partial restoration of power is already occurring across the country.
Nairametrics | Company Earnings
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- Seplat Petroleum Development Company postpones Q1 2021 dividend payment date.
- FMDQ approves quotation of MTN’s Commercial Paper worth N73.5 billion.
- MTN Nigeria issues a 7-Year Series 1 bond worth N110 billion.
- Caverton Offshore Support Group reports profit after tax of N520 million in Q1 2021.
- Okomu Oil proposes dividend worth N6.7 billion for shareholders.