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Spotlight Stories

5 e-commerce websites that can grow your online business in Nigeria

For businesses that have not gone online yet, these platforms offer opportunities to take your business online at zero cost.

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Top 5 e-commerce website for your online business in Nigeria

The pandemic has forced many businesses to rethink and strategize their existing business models. Many transactions have been taken online using the digital financial service platforms provided by innovators, as Nigerians embrace a cashless society.

In light of this, e-commerce has risen as an alternative route for most businesses, especially SMEs, in the bid to take their businesses online and increase visibility.

According to Statista, Nigeria presents a vast digital audience and mobile devices are more frequently used to access the internet than desktop devices. In 2019, over 70 percent of internet usage was recorded on mobile devices, whereas this share was even higher when it came to online marketplace visits.

With this data, taking your business online is apparently the best way to thrive in a competitive market.

READ: Why SEC banned investment technology platforms from offering foreign stocks to Nigerians

Where can I sell online in Nigeria?

There are many e-commerce sites that give sellers access to their platforms to sell. The good part about using these platforms is that they bear the cost for online and offline advertising so you don’t have to spend a lot on marketing.

The eCommerce platforms work with online payment providers to ensure a secure checkout process for people who use their platforms.

Here is a list of some e-commerce websites that you can use to start your online business.

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READ: Unemployment: Tech can be used to reduce youth unemployment – BOI


Jumia

Jumia is an online marketplace for electronics, and fashion, among others targeting several African countries. It is one of the most visited e-commerce websites in Nigeria. Becoming a Jumia vendor is free and you can sell virtually any product on the platform. Jumia charges a commission depending on the type of product you sell. They also cover the delivery of your products.

How to start selling on Jumia

  • Sign up as a merchant on the Jumia Marketplace website.
  • Provide the necessary KYC details, including your bank account for payouts.
  • Upload clear photos of your products.

READ: How API fintech startups are driving access to financial data across Africa – CEO, Mono


Konga

Konga.com is another Nigerian e-commerce company, which was founded in July 2012. It offers a third-party online marketplace, as well as first-party direct retail spanning various categories including consumer electronics, fashion, home appliances, books, children’s items, computers & accessories, phones and tablets, health care, and personal care products. Konga charges a commission fee as low as 3%, and you only pay when you successfully sell your product.

How to start selling on Konga

  • Sign up as a Konga seller on Konga sellerHQ.
  • Complete the seller form.
  • Upload clear photos of your products.
  • Choose a convenient delivery method for paid orders.

READ: Meet Elochukwu Umeh, founder of Africa’s digital powerhouse

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Jiji

Jiji is a Nigerian online marketplace that provides buyers and sellers with an avenue to meet and exchange goods and services. Jiji provides a simple hassle-free solution to sell and buy almost anything. Selling on jiji is free. The platform only charges when you use its premium services.

How to start selling on Jiji

  • Register using your email and phone number.
  • Take photos of your items.
  • Choose a proper category, upload your photos and start selling.

Payporte

PayPorte is an omnichannel retail company founded in 2014 by a team of young tech enthusiasts. The platform offers an extensive array of products at the best prices, together with customer loyalty and rewards, discounts, and fraud and risk-free transactions.

PayPorte also partners with local businesses by showcasing their goods on its platform to a wider audience. These businesses access customers, great logistics coverage and the opportunity to excel in business.


Kusnap

Kusnap is an easy-to-use platform connecting millions of buyers and sellers nationwide completely free of charge. It employs a simple approach of snap-to-sell and chat-to-buy with a fantastic user experience, thereby transcending trading borders.

Kusnap is committed to ensuring that individuals, retailers, and wholesalers come together for a common business purpose by integrating into the marketplace a variety of features such as groups and the ability to list multiple products across varying categories.


What this means for business owners

As a business owner, it is more economical to ride on the back of successful e-commerce platforms than to build your own eCommerce service. For businesses that have not gone online yet, these platforms offer opportunities to take your business online at zero cost.

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Janet John is a graduate of Chemical Engineering from the University of Uyo. She specializes in technical writing where she creates easy to read documentation, articles to clearly and efficiently explain highly complex processes. When she is not writing, she works as a freelance front-end developer

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Market Views

Ethereum breaks $4000 and 5 Big Takes for the week

The 2nd week of May promises to be a profitable week, spurred on by the activities of last week.

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What you should know before investing in Cryptocurrency

The 2nd week of May promises to be a profitable week, spurred on by the activities last week. Here are the key events that affected the economy and markets last week.

What are the regulators doing?

CBN made the news in two major ways. Firstly, the apex bank indefinitely extended the Naira4dollar scheme for diaspora remittances. The initiative rewards recipients N5 for every $1 they receive through IMTOs and commercial banks. It was initially supposed to end on May 8th. Many analysts we have spoken to seem to believe this is another form of naira devaluation.

Another interesting news from the CBN was its plans to reject the continuous importation of maize in Nigeria.

READ: Why Ethereum is becoming more attractive than Bitcoin

What fixed income opportunities are available?

Last week the DMO (Debt Management Office) announced an offer for subscription of the May 2021 Federal Government Savings Bond to investors.

The Debt Management Office (DMO), on behalf of the Federal Government has announced the offer for subscription of the May 2021 Federal Government Savings Bond to investors.

This disclosure is contained in a circular issued by the DMO on May 3, 2021, and can be seen on its website noting that there are 2-year and 3-year savings bonds. The breakdown of the bonds shows that the 2-year FGN savings bond will be due on May 12, 2023, at 7.753% per annum and the 3-year FGN Savings Bond which will be due on May 12, 2024, at 8.753% per annum.

The offer has an opening date of May 3, with a closing date of May 7. Although this window is closed. Portfolio diversification is critical for any investor and bonds are one of the safest asset classes.

READ: Nigerian stocks that outperformed Bitcoin, Ethereum and Cardano in April

Should volatility in Crypto shock anybody?

Over the weekend, another incredible market volatility transpired with the Dogecoin going down about 21.34% for the day on Sunday. Elon Musk´s appearance on SNL seems to have had a negative effect on the crypto asset’s price.

Ethereum at the time of writing this report is currently trading at an all-time high of $4,053, up by 2.72% in 24 hours. There are many investment opportunities in cryptocurrencies but because of the tremendous market volatility, it is important for investors to invest with caution. The rule of thumb is not to invest more than you are willing to lose.

READ: Why Ethereum transaction fees are often expensive

Stock market bounce?

The Nigerian Stock Exchange made a bullish recovery on Friday. Its year-to-date stands at -2.66%. There is still a lot of upside for Nigerian stocks which remain relatively cheap compared to other emerging markets. In a Twitter Spaces conversation with Ugodre Obi-Chukwu, analysts stated that the true value of the Nigerian economy is not reflected in the NGX. ¨Out of the 166 listed companies, only about 30 are tradeable,¨ according to one analyst.

In a period where there should be a lot of capital allocation to emerging markets like Nigeria, a major deterrence to this is our FX situation. Investors have issues getting their money out of the Nigerian economy.

Another Corruption case

It was reported that the FG will probe the suspended MD of Nigerian Ports Authority, Hadiza Bala-Usman for the alleged non-remittance of over N165 billion operating surplus to the Consolidated Revenue Fund by the NPA management.

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Business

Vaccine IP waiver: What it means for Nigerian vaccine production

The move to support a Covid IP waiver is important to reduce the global effect of the pandemic.

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The US government announced last week that it would support a waiver of Intellectual Property Protections on Covid-19 vaccine development, in a bid to boost the fight against the pandemic and increase access to vaccines to millions globally.

Ambassador Katherine Tai, the US Trade Rep said: “…administration believes strongly in intellectual property protections, but in service of ending this pandemic, supports the waiver of those protections for Covid-19 vaccines.

We will actively participate in text-based negotiations at the World Trade Organization (WTO) to make this happen.”

The move to support a Covid IP waiver also comes beneficial to countries such as China and India. WTO’s Nigerian head has also been calling for waivers.

READ: Covid-19: FCT to end vaccination May 14

Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala had earlier warned about the dangers of “vaccine nationalism” which could affect the much-expected pandemic recovery, as well as decimate economic growth for all countries – rich and poor.

She added that the WTO could contribute a lot to ending the pandemic by prioritizing and implementing solutions as to how the WTO could make vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics accessible in an equitable and affordable fashion to all countries, particularly to poor countries, citing dangers that the global economy may face through losing $9 trillion in potential output if poor countries were unable to get their populations vaccinated quickly. About half of this impact would be borne by rich countries.

It does not come as a surprise that Okonjo-Iweala also stated that Nigeria should start looking at establishing the capacity for manufacturing vaccines locally.

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“I’ve been in the vaccine business for last 5-6 years. You need 4-5 years to get a plant approved to produce vaccines. I’m advocating that Nigeria should start looking now at establishing capacity for manufacturing vaccines locally. This is not going to be the last pandemic,” she said in her last visit to Nigeria.

READ: African Union signs deal for 400 million Johnson and Johnson single-shot vaccine

FG’s response towards vaccine development

The Nigerian government announced during the end of the first wave of Covid in 2020 that it would be setting up a vaccine production company in Nigeria to boost local COVID-19 vaccine production. Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, added that the Health ministry would sign a PPP-MoU with a pharmaceutical company in Nigeria to set up the new company.

The FG also was not just doing the “talking” as earlier this year, the Ministry of Finance announced the sum of N10 billion for the production of vaccines in Nigeria, to fight the coronavirus.

“Nigeria is exploring options for licensed production, in collaboration with recognised institutions. We are also exploring the option of local production of the vaccines in the country,” The health Minister said.

READ: Covid-19: Nigeria records over 1 million vaccinations

Therefore it’s a no brainer that a Covid IP waiver is important to reduce the pandemic, and the countries that would benefit the most are the ones most ready with the skill and manufacturing capacity, as nobody wants to be caught napping during the next global pandemic.

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Prince Nwafuru, an international trade lawyer at Paul Usoro & Co says waiving the IPs is beneficial to ending the pandemic, and it would benefit Nigeria immensely if all plans are followed through.

What the IP waiver means for Asian manufacturing nations like China and India. Will western drug manufacturers oppose the move?

“There is no contending with necessity, and we should be very tender how we censure those that submit to it. ‘Tis one thing to be at liberty to do what we will, and another thing to be tied up to do what we must,” English author Roger L’Estrange said about necessity,” Nwafuru quoted.

He added that the IP waiver proposed by the World Trade Organization (WTO) was driven by necessity and the need to address the scourge of the pandemic which had affected the global economy. Though the world’s top five pharmaceutical companies are in the USA and Europe, China and India still play huge roles in global supply chains in the industry.

“Therefore, the cooperation of China and India will be key to the success of the negotiation. On whether the drug manufacturers will oppose the move, it is too early to tell. And a lot will depend on the terms of the negotiations and the political will of the nations involved. It is important to add that the focus of the waiver is to aid the poor and developing countries.

The USA and Europe will ensure that other big drug manufacturing nations like China and India do not use the opportunity to the detriment of the West. India is currently battling its worst COVID 19 crisis in the world and the priority for such a country is to get all the help available at the moment. And you know that decisions at the WTO are reached by consensus. Therefore, the cooperation of the Member States is important at this critical point. Another area of concern is whether the waiver will negatively impact innovation. Some IP experts have also expressed concern in this regard. One of such IP experts I discussed with noted that the complexities involved in making vaccines mean that waiving IP rights won’t act as the magic wand,” he said.

With Nigeria talking about building a vaccine manufacturing sector, would this be beneficial for us?

“Of course yes,” he said.

Though Nigeria has not been hit hard like other developing economies such as India and South Africa, there is still the urgent need to bring in more vaccines to cater to the country’s teeming population as we cannot afford to take chances and be visited by the kind of issue going on India.

Since receiving the first batch of 3.9 million doses of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine in March this year, Nigeria has been battling to access more supplies to cater to its 200 million population. Even with the 84 million doses of vaccines expected from AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson, we are yet to cover 20% of the population. The waiver will definitely help Nigeria to develop local capacity and provide for our local needs, given the difficulty being experienced in accessing the vaccines abroad,” he added.

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Can Nigeria use it as a form of manufactured exports for AfCFTA?

He stated that Nigeria could tap into the opportunity provided by the waiver and incentives from the Federal Government to ramp up production that would serve not only the citizens but other nations on the continent.

“The thing about the AfCFTA is that it seeks to make the whole of Africa one nation. However, it is too early to make projections on such possibilities until the waiver is concluded. In any case, we have to meet local needs first before talking of exporting to other nations. Charity, they say, begins at home,” he said.

Bottomline

The Vaccine IP waiver is an opportunity for Nigeria to achieve economic diversification and build a skilled value chain that will also address Nigeria’s youth unemployment problem. Nigeria can look at India’s pharmaceutical industry which announced exports for the FY-21 (Apr 2020 – Mar 2021) at $24.44 billion, a record growth of 18.07 %. Exports during FY 2020 were $20.58 billion with a growth rate of 7.57%.

Nigeria will not be alone in this journey as Rwanda, South Africa and Senegal have also called for full vaccine manufacturing capacity in Africa. Rwanda’s President, Paul Kagame, said last week that: “The only way to ensure vaccine equity is to produce more vaccines where they are needed … as Africa remains dependent on other regions for vaccines, we will always be at the back of the queue whenever there is scarcity.”

One more factor to consider, for there to be competent vaccine development, Nigeria must begin to invest more in STEM-related courses at the nation’s tertiary institutions.

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