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65 MILLION NIGERIANS NOW SHOP ONLINE, SAYS EXPERT

By NBF News
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AMIDST the relatively poor Internet penetration in the country, the country head of an online retailer, Kalahari.com.ng, Mr. Samuel Abdulazeez said no fewer than 65 million Nigerians now throng the online market.

He said, though e-commerce in the country is at its infancy, the industry is, however, set to grow at the rate at which the digital gap is closing, with the online retail platform extended by Kalahari.

Abdulazeez stated, 'one thing that encourages us is that Nigeria has this big population of 150 million people. Out of this number, I can tell you now that 64 or 65 people are Internet users and 75 million people are mobile users. 13 million people are on face book and the number is growing phenomenally.'

He noted that the emergent huge e-commerce industry in the country is building on the expected progress, stressing there is a current government intervention to make online payment more seamless and secured.

'When you look at it, you know there is hope that things are going to be looking up. Just few weeks ago, there were discussions between the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) on mobile platform for payment. When this is resolved, it's going to boost the industry,' he enthused.

Abdulazeez added that online transaction such as afforded by Kalahari.com.ng provides visitors to the site opportunity to access original products from all around the world. These products include DVDs, CDs, music, games, electronics of all types, gift items, and computers, among others at competitive prices.

'We negotiate good prices for people so much so that even traditional shops buy stock from our site and then sell. On our site, you can, for example, get a computer for about N38, 000, N50, 000, N78, 000, depending on the brand. And what you also need to know is that the quality of products that we carry is higher than what you can get around. We bring in products that have international standard,' he indicated.

The online platform provided by Kalahari.com.ng affords hassles-free means of building the stock of books in the libraries of institutions and universities at the click of the mouse. This is because the Internet retailer denominates all purchases at its site in naira and thus removes the foreign exchange bottleneck. Transactions with, say, Amazon or eBay provides no proof against this challenge.