BY Balarabe Oshiafi
The Director, Standards, Guidelines and Framework of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Mr. Oladejo Olawunmi, has announced Government’s plan to formulate a national Policy on e-commerce in other to protect the teeming online buyers and sellers of goods and services.
He made this disclosure at the day two of the ongoing Consumers Protection Forum Thursday in Abuja.
Day two event was themed, “Enabling the e-commerce Services Driven Economy: Opportunities for Consumers, Challenges and Way Forward in Nigeria”.
With the policy according to the Director, NITDA want to make sure that there is a regulation in place that wiil ensure all players in the industry are protected and not shortchanged, adding that “If there is no regulation in the industry, there would be chaos in the industry and that is what NITDA is trying to avoid”
He said, over the past months, NITDA, in conjunction with the federal ministry of Trade and Investment, has been trying to put together a Natural Policy on e-Commerce.
“We have had several engagements with other stakeholders and this is one of them. We want to have your opinions on what exactly you want from this so we can incorporate them in order to have a comprehensive and robust policy”, he said.
He opined that the outbreak of Covid-19 has shifted people’s attention to e-commerce which has been hitherto not gaining the expected attraction.
He said: “You can agree with me that the e-commerce sector really boomed in 2020. Since then, globally, we have realized the potentials and everyone is striving to make sure that they have their own bit of the game”.
While disclosing the current market value of e-commerce in Nigeria which he said stands at 13 billion USD, Mr Olawunmi said by 2025 the market value is expected to be around 75billion USD and with 3 million jobs created.
He urged Nigerians to embrace the e-commerce as Government is doing all it could do to develop all the enablers of the sector.
One of the Resource Persons for the session on the overview of the e-commerce, Mr Kenny Omodara noted that formulating a policy for e-commerce is crucial to the development of the industry because it will give confidence and encourage online transaction.
According to him, most of the enablers for a thriving e-commerce industry have been taken care of by the government
In his own remarks, another facilitator, Mr Desmond Idu Odaiche of Yorkshel Business Consult applauded the Government for some of the regulations it has put in place before which he maintained would help the industry to thrive.
A participant from the National Salary, Income and Wages Commission Mr Ernest Paul would rather those who run foul of Government regulations on e-commerce are sanctioned: “There must be anti trust policy in for e-commerce if we want to encourage it. Penalty should be attached as sanction for whoever that breach the agreement”, he said.