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Innovation, Investment, Structure Upgrade Key Drivers In E-Commerce Growth-Expert

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The Country Marketing Manager at UPS, Mr Morolayo Igeleke, has said that innovation, investment and structure upgrade are the key drivers needed to expand the e-commerce and the logistics industry in Nigeria.
Igeleke made the remark during the recent Jumia 10th Anniversary Celebration and panel discussion to boost the e-commerce industry at Victoria Island, Lagos.
He stated that the e-commerce brought alot of ease to Nigerian consumers and that it was because at a click of a button, they get their packages.
He, however, said what customers did not  know was that before getting their deliveries, the supply chain goes through a lot of rigors such as horrible road networks.
“Technology had to move at a very fast pace, people had to become more innovative by bringing more innovations, so that a package is delivered to the customer at the right time.
“We also had to get the right kind of drivers, training, logistic trucks, cars and people in the industry had to step up to ensure that there is no disruption in the supply chain of packages to consumers.
“To reduce some of this rigors, it is necessary that we look deeper and better into innovation, our investments and structures ,” he  said.
Similarly, the Country Manager at DHL, Mr Muyiwa Adeseyoju, noted  that startups in the e-commerce sector needed an enabling environment to establish their businesses.
Adeseyoju, informed  that setting up an e-commerce platform in Nigeria was really challenging, noting that things had improved quite a lot with the advent of platform like Konga, Jumia and some others.
He explained  that for new startups in the e-commerce industry, cyber security was another big challenge, adding that cyber criminals hack into their websites.

According to him, cyber criminals go as far as getting customer details, which can  lead to fraud issues.

The Country Manager said logistics was also another issue a new startup could face, because premium logistics were needed to get packages faster to consumers and they were very expensive.

“Payment on delivery is also hindering the growth of e-commerce in Nigeria. This is because the addressing system in the country is very poor.We usually go through several rigors to get to customers location. We urge the government to do something in that regard,” he said.

On his part,  the Managing Director of FMCG Distribution Ltd., Mr Gandhi Anandan, said improvement of services to customers was necessary for the growth of the e-commerce industry.

The theme of the panel discussion was, “The Promising Future of Nigeria’s Logistics Sector”.

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Expert Wants Telcos To Prioritise Improved QoS

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A Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Policy Advisor, Mr. Jide Awe, has urged telecommunication operators to give priority to improving Quality of Services (QoS).
Awe, who is also the Founder of Jidaw.com, made the appeal in an interview with newsmen  in Lagos State, recently.
He said it was necessary to improve the current poor QoS using strategic investment in infrastructure to support current and future needs.
Awe said the future needs included increased number of users and increased traffic volumes of transactions among others.
“Customer journey has evolved significantly over the years, largely influenced by the advancements in telecommunications technology.
“Customers now expect seamless and uninterrupted connectivity across multiple touchpoints, be it through their smartphones, laptops, or Internet of Things (IoT) devices”, he said.
Awe also noted that the telecoms industry was plagued with right-of-way charges, multiple taxation, and insecurity of telecoms infrastructure.
According to him, addressing these challenges is essential for consumer protection to ensure QoS standards are met, and that consumers receive the promised level of service quality.
The policy advisor added that solving the issues would also help in promoting affordable broadband services.
On the role of the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) as a regulator, he said the NCC needed to adopt an innovative, supportive, and visionary regulation approach that appreciated the importance of innovation and expansion.
“As new technologies continue to emerge, regulation cannot afford to be static. NCC should inculcate a spirit of innovation and growth in the sector.
“Innovative regulation helps to cultivate an environment that attracts investment to propel sectoral growth. Investor-friendly initiatives, simplification of regulations, strategic and disruptive thinking/approaches are crucial”, he said.

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‘No Going Back On Plans Against Passport Racketeers’

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A top immigration officer in Port- Harcourt, who spoke anonymosly, has stressed that the Immigration Service, Rivers State Commission will not soft pedal on plans to go against passport racketeering  in the State.
Stating this in an interview  with the press in Port Harcourt, Monday, he  warned against any attempt to portay  the agency in bad light, saying such will be resisted by the  system.
He emphasised that passport racketeering is  capable of portraying the command in bad light, especially the Passport Unit, at the international group where it belonged.
Noting that the passport processes do not require a third party, easy and pocket  friendly, the officer expressed  regrets that the saboteurs charge the unsuspecting members of the public seeking passport exhobitantly thereby making the process cumbersome.
He boasted on how the passport personnel “have all it takes to deliver tasks on schedule with zero complaint”.
According to him,  those  in the act of the alleged sabotage risk imprisonment, if caught,  in that it is viewed as economic sabortage on the part of the Federal Government.
“Passport racketeering is against  the law and abuse of process. Things  must be done in order and decently. We are an agency  established by law. So, anything  we are doing must follow  due process”, he said.
He has also called on members of the public to be wary of patronising road-side passport operators to avoid double payment.
“If due process will be followed,  according to him, the issue of passport  racketeering will belong  to history”.
He also described as a plus, the introduction of e-gates in about four International Airports in the country, including Port Harcourt.

Stories compiled by King Onunwor

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Minister Wants States To  Align Technological Advancement With Local Prionties

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Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology, Chief  Uche Nnaji, has urged states to align their technological advancements with local priorities.
The Minister said this at the first edition of the interactive forum for state commissioners in charge of Science and Technology, held in Abuja recently.
Nnaji said  states should also provide solutions for regional-specific challenges and promoting a more robust and resilient scientific ecosystem that fosters collaboration and knowledge sharing.
“This alignment will ensure inclusivity, unlock the immense potential of our nation’s intellectual and technological resources, and propel our states to the forefront of technological advancements”, he said.
The Minister also urged the commissioners to actively engage local industries, research institutions and community stakeholders, so as to collaborate in amplifying the impact of Nigeria’s scientific endeavours.
He said this was important to ensure seamless transition from research to application of the scientific endeavours, to facilitate economic growth and ensure technological advancements that meet the needs of citizens.
“As Nigeria transits from a resource to a knowledge-based economy driven by innovation, it is worth emphasising that this task is daunting but certainly surmountable, and will require strong commitment, continuous learning and adaptive strategies.
“Let us, therefore, approach it with a sense of urgency, recognising that the decisions we make today will shape the future of our scientific landscape”, he  said.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mrs Esuabana Asanye, said the forum was meant to broaden their scope and ensure their buy-in and implementation of the National Science and Technology Roadmap 2017-2030.
Asanye stated that the roadmap represented the desire to implement the National Policy on Science, Technology and Innovation designed to hasten innovation, economic growth and inclusive scientific development to meet national aspiration.
“The task before us is a shared responsibility to harness the full potential of our sub national for the national scientific landscape for environmental sustainability and curbing climate devastation. Each state has its unique demographic resourcefulness and if properly managed, would exponentially foster the culture of innovation at the grassroot level for sustainable development”,  she said.

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