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Etisalat, Google highlight e-commerce opportunities for SMEs

(L-R) Executive Director, Technology and Operation, Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc (NIBSS), Niyi Ajao; Chief Marketing Officer, Etisalat Nigeria, Francesco Angelone and Managing Director, Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc (NIBSS), Ade Shonubi during the press conference to announce the partnership between NIBSS and telecommunications service providers on USSD-BVN Query service in Lagos on Thursday, September 10, 2015.
(L-R) Executive Director, Technology and Operation, Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc (NIBSS), Niyi Ajao; Chief Marketing Officer, Etisalat Nigeria, Francesco Angelone and Managing Director, Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc (NIBSS), Ade Shonubi at a recent event by the company

Telecommunication network, Etisalat, has called on Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and startup businesses in the country to embrace the electronic commerce model of business to boost their capacity and efficiency.

Head of Enterprise Marketing, Etisalat Nigeria, Bidemi Ladipo made this call while speaking on the ‘Role of Mobile Penetration in Online Commerce’ at the recent Webmall Connect Commerce Conference 2015, sponsored by the telecommunication company, in Lagos. He said startup businesses and SMEs would benefit immensely from having online presence because it is a cost effective and faster way to increase their reach.

To underscore the huge opportunities in e-Commerce, Ladipo noted that out of the over 150 million active GSM lines in Nigeria, 89 million of the subscribers use the internet with 75 percent of these having access to the internet via mobile devices. “Having your businesses on the digital space offers you lots of advantage; it reduces your overhead and increases your visibility and reach. At Etisalat, we are committed to offering quality of service both in voice and data, and to continuously provide solutions that help enterprises and startups grow and sustainable”, he said.

He also stated that as part of efforts aimed at encouraging SMEs to connect their businesses online, Etisalat offers affordable and fastest internet data service and voice service including the Close User Group (CUG) platform to bring down cost on calls and data usage.

Speaking in a panel discussion, Managing Director, Webmall, Wole Faroun said the digital space offers SMEs and startup businesses numerous opportunities to grow and expand exponentially. “Three years back, awareness and knowledge about e-Commerce were not as high as it is today; now more people know about e-Commerce although the full potential of the e-business model has yet to be fully appreciated. e-Commerce offers huge potentials than we are benefiting now”, he said.

Head, Business Development, Google Nigeria, Jola Aderemi-Makinde said she was delighted that more businesses in Nigeria are embracing digital applications, and assured Google’s continued commitment in this regard. “Our focus now is to help local businesses succeed online. There are different tools available to SMEs for them to achieve their business objectives. Startups and SMEs should take advantage of these tools to expand their businesses”, she noted.

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