Minister seeks measures against cybercrime to promote e-commerce

GOING by the business momentum emanating from various e-commerce activities in the country, the Minister of Communications Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson has called for stringent measures against increasing cybercrime activities in the country.

Johnson, who called for more broadband infrastructure to accelerate e-commerce growth in the country, noted that online loopholes, that will make the system vulnerable for hackers and cybercriminals should be tackled.

The minister, who spoke at the weekend in Lagos, at the one year anniversary of Jumia, a leading e-commerce firm in Nigeria, said that that the country requires high level of cooperation among players in the fight against cybercrimes, stressing that coming together of people to collaborate to grow the market would allow for a bigger stakes for all in the future.

According to her, e-commerce requires that issue of cyber security should be taken serious, adding that the Ministry is determined to innovate and requires handshake of diverse Internet security and forensic intelligence to contain cyber traitors.

Johnson disclosed that broadband infrastructure penetration in Nigeria is still abysmally low despite various facilities in the country. She however, said that this is a high priority growth area for the government and the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry.

Johnson, in her keynote address titled: “E-Commerce and Information Communications Technology – An Engine for Job Creation and Economic Growth”, said improving the broadband infrastructure in Nigeria is highly imperative to driving the entire ecommerce value chain.

According to her, “we need to ensure that the Internet structure is relevant”.

She noted that a developing ecosystem is a driver of tremendous opportunity, adding that the youths are needed to use the Internet to promote local brand for a successful ecosystem in the society.

She explained that the country is predominantly a cash -based society with up to 64 per cent of adult population classified as unbanked, “but significant proportion of unbanked population is bankable. We need to increase the confidence of people in the Nigerian communication sector to willingness to increase investment infrastructure.”

She stressed that Nigeria needs to improve on its human capital development by implementing initiative to build local capacity that will create more ICT jobs for the country, “we are really focusing on driving the local content”, she added.

Johnson, further said that the sector has the capacity to significantly extend reach of wholesale and retail trade in the country, stressing that ecommerce ecosystem is a catalyst for increasing local content in the Nigerian ICT industry.

She applauded the e-commerce drives made by in her first year in Nigeria, stressing that the company has registered the country’s presence in the comity of e-commerce nations.

According to her, although Nigeria’s local ICT industry has received tremendous boost in the recent past; unfortunately, it is still dominated by foreign skills and brands, noting that Jumia with various initiatives has shown that potentials inherent in e-commerce can deepen job creation, e-payment and digitization.

“Jumia has done prety well in the past one year, growing from nothing to something amazing. The industry, we know now can generate millions of jobs. And as a government it is our hope that the multi-million naira potentials of this industry will be tapped into in no distant time,” she said.

Earlier in a welcome address, Tunde Kehinde and Raphael Afaedor, co-founders and Managing Directors, Jumia Nigeria, said the company welcomes 100,000 unique visitors daily, making it the fourth most viewed local content site in the country, with a daily subscriber base of over 250,000 people, served over 500,000 customers, adding that Jumia’s social media community fans have hit 500,000.

“Jumia is currently headquartered in its brand new state of the art 90,000 square feet e-commerce campus located in Lagos. With rapid growth in delivered across Nigeria, the Company further introduced pick-up stations across six locations in the country with many more in the offing.

“ “is Nigeria’s number one shopping destination offering customers everything from fashion, consumer electronics and home appliances, phones and mobile devices, books, baby’s toys and gifts, fragrances, beauty products, games, event tickets and a broader range of products”, they stated.

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