Tackling Nigeria’s Unemployment Challenges With E-commerce
By Adeniyi Ogunfowoke
Different data have confirmed that Nigeria has a huge unemployment challenge. The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) pegs the unemployment rate at 14.2% to 18.8% in 2017.
Although 18.8% may be small in terms of percentage, the raw numbers are staggering. The indices of the NBS revealed that the number of people within the labour force that were unemployed or underemployed increased drastically from 13.6 million and 17.7 million in the second quarter of 2017 to 18.8 million in the third quarter of 2017.
Meanwhile, a 2017 report of the International Labour Organisation estimated that youth unemployment rate in Nigeria was at 13.41 per cent.
You can easily deduce from the aforementioned data that Nigeria is in an unemployment crisis and something drastic needs to be done to tackle this challenge. This is because economic growth and development can never be guaranteed if a large number of the population especially the youth is unemployed.
In the march to find a solution to unemployment, the private sector is playing a major role in tackling the problem. A key sector that has made arguably one of the biggest contributions is e-commerce.
Today, a company like Jumia leads the e-commerce landscape. Interestingly, a large chunk of their employees are young adults between 22 and 30 years; a positive employment metric. Beyond this, Jumia has empowered millions of Nigerians directly or indirectly. Thus, supporting the government in easing the unemployment problems.
E-commerce can tackle Nigeria’s unemployment problem
It is possible for eCommerce to compete in agriculture when it comes to job creation. Despite the dire unemployment quagmire, e-commerce has made a monumental contribution when it comes to the provision of jobs for Nigerians. Thanks to Jumia that pioneered and powered e-commerce to new heights, many persons and businesses have benefited in one way or the other.
Currently worth around $13billion (about N4.01 trillion), experts in the Nigerian financial service sector have estimated that Nigeria’s e-commerce market value could rise to $50billion (N15.45 trillion) over the next decade. This is the bright prospects that e-commerce have and if properly and effectively exploited, there is no doubt that it will overshoot the reported estimate. And of course, Nigerians will be gainfully employed because e-commerce startups are springing up daily and are attracting the attention of investors.
Reasons why e-commerce can answer Nigeria’s unemployment woes
*Low operating costs
The undeniable fact is that running a physical store costs a lot of money. By running your own e-commerce operation, one of the main benefits is that the overheads are much lower. For example, an online store requires less personnel to manage it thanks to automation and inventory management. You can also benefit from cheap online marketing channels such as social media to spread the word about your business.
*A wider audience
Since many people are now online, you have an audience who are ready to patronise you. However, due to competition in the e-commerce space, you need to get your marketing right so that your messages will reach the right target market. Therefore, you have a wider audience for your products or services than if you decided to open a physical store in a shopping mall. Additionally, your business is always open – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
How e-commerce is solving unemployment
If you want to make money and want to exit the unemployment market, all you need is a computer and a very good internet connection. It doesn’t matter if you have a white collar job, you are into business or you are unemployed, you can make some money. Also, if you can muster the financial power, you can float your own e-commerce store.
*You can become an independent sales consultant
To be a sales consultant with Jumia, you will be required to register, create your own team (a network of other sales consultants) and then start selling Jumia products and make money doing so. You can make up to ₦1,000,000 monthly doing this.
*Become an affiliate partner
Affiliate partners can promote the products on Jumia and can get up to 11% commission on every successful order made a click via your affiliate link. You can make easy money online if you own a website, blog or just any useful social media account (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Google+ etc). But first, you need to sign up for the affiliate program, find products you know people really want or the products you know your website/blog readers want or the product your social media networks need. Promote the products, get people to go through your link, track your sales and earn commissions. How easy can money making get!
*Become a vendor
If you have your own products and services to sell, you can easily sell them. Jumia will allow you to list your products for sale as long as you want to sell your genuine products online. To get started, you will be required to go to the Jumia Seller registration page and sign up. After signing up, you will be able to upload your own products to sell on Jumia Nigeria. Presently, Jumia has millions of vendors that are currently selling and earning money on the platform. They are smiling to the bank.