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Pandemic speeds up Nigeria digital revolution

National Bureau of Statistics
National Bureau of Statistics

from OKORO CHINEDU in Lagos, Nigeria
LAGOS – AMID slowing economic activity, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has led to a surge in e-commerce and accelerated digital transformation in Nigeria, Africa’s biggest economy.

Latest data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) reveal that 3,5 billion transactions valued at N356 trillion (US$870,9 billion) were recorded on electronic payment channels in the fourth quarter of 2020 (Q4 ’20).

Online transfer transactions dominated the volume of transactions, with 2,2 billion (63 percent of the total) valued at N120,3 trillion recorded in the quarter.

FBN Quest, the market watcher, noted the retail landscape had significantly changed over the past year, mainly due to movement restriction measures aimed at protecting public health and growing consumer preference for online transactions.

Internet subscriptions, which are directly correlated with electronic transactions, stood at 153,9 million at end-Q4, according to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

This translates into a penetration rate of 77 percent of Africa’s biggest population.

The volume of payments via Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) stood at 146 million, which accounted for 4 percent of the total volume of transactions, FB Quest noted.

In Q4 ‘20 the volume of point of sale (PoS) transactions stood at 214,8 million, representing an increase of 32 percent quarterly.

“We also note that most providers of home delivery services have included PoS terminals to their delivery process and as such, payment via this channel is steadily growing,” FB Quest stated.

The think-tank said building an enabling e-commerce ecosystem required changes in public policy and business practices.

This would improve the digital and trading infrastructure, facilitate digital payments and establish appropriate legal and regulatory frameworks for online transactions and security.

“Apart from the efficiency this provides, it also creates transparency,” the FBN entity stated.

– CAJ News



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