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Yudala Targets 24Hours E-Commerce Delivery, No 1 Spot in 2016- Founder

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Prince Nnamdi Ekeh, founder and vice president, Yudala, Nigeria

Prince Nnamdi Ekeh, founder and vice president, Yudala, Nigeria’s first composite retail chain, has guaranteed the platform’s readiness to delivery items to customers within 24hours of placing order.

With this in mind, Ekeh, an e-commerce enthusiast, said Yudala tends to climb to the number one spot on e-commerce sector in the country before the end of 2016.

He made the remarks during a chat with newsmen in Lagos, adding that Yudala’s long term plan includes opening offline shops in each of the 774 local government areas in the country for closer ties with the customers.

He however, identified poor electricity power supply, low internet penetration and lack of skilled personnel as part of challenges facing the sector in Nigeria.

24Hours Delivery
According to the Yudala Founder, “This starts this year. We are spending a lot of money on getting vans and trucks to move our goods. The same-day delivery plan is for nationwide. In fact, wherever we have outlets, customers should expect same-day delivery any time from now.

To Top E-commerce Table In Nigeria
“I can’t really fix a date or time for it to happen. However, Yudala expects it can become the number one in the country by the end of this year.

Courier As Key To E-Commerce
He said, “E-commerce is trending globally and logistics/courier sector will benefit from it. But, right now there the country has not enough courier companies to deliver for the online. That is the power of the e-commerce”.

“Currently, we have an internal logistics arrangement and some external logistics companies we work with. Since we have both online and offline outlets, our long time plan is to have a robust internal logistics operations. If we are going to achieve our targets for same day delivery, we cannot rely on (external) logistics/courier companies, because at the end of the day they will require bulk items before delivering”.

Competing With the Likes Of Jumia, Konga, Etc.,
Ekeh said, “A lot of people compare us with the likes of Jumia, Konga, but we are very different. We have offline stores. Today, we the shop in Port Harcourt, we can give the customer better services. It will take others four to seven days to deliver to a customer in Port Harcourt, because they are not physically present there, but we have our shops and items located there. Remember, customer satisfaction is key to driving e-commerce growth. We are ahead of them in that aspect. Even if they build regional warehouses, the reach of our stores, which are closer to the people, guarantees better service. Our plan is to have a store in every local government in Nigeria.

Yu-Jara Campaign
He said that the campaign was very successful as that was the first time they introduced different categories, aside smartphones and mobile devices. “We brought in rice, wine; in fact, we surpassed our expectations. We got trucks of wine and within the first two weeks they were sold out sold out”.

More Campaigns
“This year we have a number of campaigns to run. In few weeks to come we shall be unveiling these campaigns; all geared towards giving Nigerians a better e-commerce experience”. 

Delivery by Drones, And Challenges
Speaking on the possibility of using drones to deliver purchased items across Nigeria, he said, “The idea of using drones for delivery on the black Friday in 2015 was to test the technology. A time will come when that aspect of e-commerce delivery will boom. Talking about crime minded individuals hijacking the process, it boils down to government regulations. It high time the government sat down and deliberate on how these technologies are harnessed for national/economic growth.

“If Nigeria can leverage the advantage of drones for e-commerce delivery before it spreads in the United States, it is even better for the economy. Although, not everybody can afford it, because it will incur between five to ten percent increase on the item purchased, but the technology is definitely for the future”.

Prospects of E-commerce In Nigeria
“I think the growth of e-ecommerce in Nigeria is going to be ‘crazy’ because looking at projections, e-commerce in the Middle-East and Africa tend to grow by 20% in 2016. That is the highest expected growth in the world. If you look at the likes of China, India and Asia, they have seen their growths in E-commerce.  The US have seen their growth in the e-commerce. This is the time for Africa and Nigeria in particular. Very soon even the government will start paying attention to e-commerce, because the industry is getting to a point government cannot avoid its place in the economy.

Expected $32billion Annual Turnover
“I agree with the projection that e-commerce sector can make about $32b because the Internet of Things (IoTs) will help drive e-commerce growth”. 

What To Expect From Yudala In 2016
“Customers should expect 24hours delivery. At the moment, others are guaranteeing four to seven-day delivery and they can cancel the delivery on the seventh day. Secondly, we source items sold on both our online and offline platforms directly from the companies, customers can be assured of best prices. And after sales services are important to us. Customer care is one aspect most businesses are defaulting. We are guaranteeing a paradigm shift on that. In Yudala, we offer the normal warranty that comes with the product and additional (in-house) warrantee like damaged screen, we replace it. It is all risk covered.

Job Creation
“We are consistently entering into partnership that will guarantee the customers the best shopping experience and create job opportunities for Nigerians. We have 400 workers since we started of whom 300 are graduates.

Challenges of E-Commerce Business
“The ultimate challenge before e-commerce in the country is the human resource. What is happening now is that we have to train the ones recruited and that costs a lot of resources. So, if they in already trained, it brings speed to the process. So, there is need to have e-commerce training facilities in the country. Secondly, the issue of logistics comes to mind. Moving goods around Nigeria is not very easy.

“If government can find a way to make this easier, it will boost the sector too. Thirdly, infrastructural deficit is affecting the business in terms of power, internet penetration. Online business is real-time. If there is point of downtime, the business will go down. If Yudala goes down for an hour, whatever order we are receiving, we can’t treat it”.  

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek believes that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world.

So since 2007, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and how they affect lives.

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 CSO Sends FoI Request To NCC

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Following the alleged plans to block online news sites, the Paradigm Initiative has filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the Nigerian Communications Commission asking the Commission to provide it with information on the matter.

The request was filed by the digital rights advocacy organisation on Friday at the Abuja headquarters of the Commission, giving the Commission seven (7) days as stipulated by the Freedom Of Information (FOI) Act 2011, to release information on the alleged attempts to block domain names of online newspapers.

It would be recalled that the Nigerian Tribune exclusively reported on Sunday, October 5 2017 “that the government, through the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC), has engaged the services of a firm in Lagos to block the domain names of “several identified websites threatening national security.”

The newspaper further alleged that Commission wrote a memo to the firm, directing it “to immediately take steps to restrict access within the Nigerian cyberspace in respect of 21 (twenty one) additional websites by blocking the domain names. (The list of websites is attached).”

According to Adeboye Adegoke, Paradigm Initiative’s Program Manager, “the phrase “additional websites” in the memo indicates that there are other websites already marked for illegal censorship through an equally illegal blockage of their domain names. If this is true, then this would be a clear indication of this government’s anti-free speech agenda”

“It has been six days since Tribune published its story and NCC has not come out to deny the story. This is why we have filed this FoI request. NCC cannot wish this report away; the commission has to come out and address Nigerians on the issue”

In the FoI request, Paradigm Initiative asks NCC to provide it with answers to the following questions: Is the Nigeria Communications Commission or at of its agents in the process of taking steps or block or restrict the domain names of certain websites? If yes, what websites would be affected? What criteria were employed in selecting these websites? Under what legal provision is this being carried out?

According to Tope Ogundipe, Paradigm Initiative’s Director of Programs, “it goes without saying that blocking the domain names of newspapers is a brazen violation of the right to Freedom of Expression as guaranteed not only by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria but also by international instruments to which Nigeria is a signatory.”

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Web4Africa Celebrating 15 Years of Operations In Africa

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By peter oluka

Web4Africa, the Pan African Web Hosting Company, has reached a milestone this October, celebrating 15 crystal years of business.

The company, offering web services physically from Nigeria, has grown from the dreams of the founders, serving 40,000+ clients across over 120 countries.

Today, the giant strides of Web4Africa is felt across the region with the peculiar nature of customer-centric services to hundreds of domain types as well as hosting solutions from four datacentres across Ghana, Nigeria, and South Africa.

Established in 2002, Web4Africa is one out of the only two ICANN Accredited Domain Name Registrars in Nigeria and boasts of young- professional team (average age of 28) who are skilled and motivated deliver a happy experience to the clients.

“It gives me great pleasure in joining Web4Africa employees, clients and host of business partners South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana; in fact, across the Continent, in celebrating the company’s 15th anniversary. We have come a long way since commencing operations in 2002 and are very excited about our future as the company continues to thrive in these difficult economic times,” said Oluniyi Ajao, the President and CEO, when discussing the celebration.

Web4Africa’s ability to engineer solutions based on customer’s specific needs has helped the company to continually grow over the past 15 years. For instance, the Company is among the few that accepts Bitcoin, Perfect Money, Skrill, Payza, and more for Domain Registration, Web Hosting, VPS Hosting, Dedicated Servers.

“Our strongest area has always been the mass market. It so happens that to cover that large number of people, our price has to be reasonable. We make our pricing to be within reasonable range to attract the right people”, Mr. Ajao said, while speaking on 25% discount offering to customers as part of packages to mark anniversary.

Clients’ fondness for Web4Africa’s is not far-fetched, but due to its affordability and cost-effective carrier-neutral environment; local cloud hosting (in Nigeria), offers promise for future growth and 100% uptime.

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Sunday Dare honored with Democracy Heroes Award

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Organisers of Face of Democracy Nigeria Award (FDN) on Sunday night honored Mr. Sunday Dare, Executive Commissioner Stakeholder Management, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), with Democracy Heroes Award for his decades of consistency in promoting democracy in Nigeria.

Face of Democracy Nigeria (FDN), now in its fifth year said Mr. Dare has acted in manners worthy of emulation by Nigerian youths.

Therefore, they urged young people to step out to participate in the democratic process by contesting elections in order to represent the people of Nigeria conscientiously.

The FDN team leaders, Olufunsho Ajagbonna and Vivian Lam were emphatic that all the awardees were honoured to enable young people to draw inspiration from their courage, consistency and selflessness.

The event, which was over-subscribed, held at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel and ended past midnight, featured series of dances and other artistic displays representing the diversity of Nigeria.

Among those who received awards at the event last night were former Governor of Kano State and serving Senator, Dr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso; Senator Gbenga Ashafa, APC Lagos; Actor-turned-politician, Hon. Desmond Elliot; Chief Dele Momodu, Publisher of OVATION Magazine; and.Dr. Chimaobi Anyaso, an entrepreneur with investment in oil & gas and financing among others.

Prior to his appointment as an Executive Commissioner in NCC, Mr. Dare – a multimedia journalist, author, social entrepreneur and development enthusiast – was the Convener of the Social Media Clinic, a media/ICT initiative focused on educating the citizens about ICT utilisation.

Earlier, Dare had a beautiful career at the Independent Network Communications Limited, publishers of TheNEWS, Tempo, AM and PM News, one of the leading media outfits in Nigeria that deployed its professional resources to challenge the callous authoritarianism of the Military regimes of the 80s and early 90s in Nigeria.

For 8 years, he was the Chief, Hausa Service, African Division of VOICE OF AMERICA in Washington.

In 2010, Mr. Dare was listed as one of the 50 successful Nigeria professionals in America.

He had also recently combined the role of Special Media Adviser as well as Chief of Staff to Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Emeritus Governor of Lagos State and APC National Leader.

In this regard, his work was central to the victory of the Party in the 2015 elections.

The FDN team is of the opinion that Mr. Dare’s almost three decades of journalism, advocacy, strategic political thinking and impeccable managerial skills has set him “apart as an emergent leader in Nigeria today”.

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