Adewale Opaleye, the group chief executive officer of Nigeria’s leading business-to-business e-commerce platform, Alerzo, has stated that tech-enabled B2B e-commerce startups will contribute significantly to the diversification of the Nigerian economy, if well-harnessed.
He said e-commerce platforms in the B2B segments are playing critical roles by supporting the manufacturing sector to thrive through the provision of logistic systems and infrastructure such as warehouses and last-mile facilities to enhance inventory movement and make distribution of consumer goods faster.
“With the help of technology, online marketplaces as well as digital payment platforms built in support of the Federal Government’s financial inclusion and promotion of cashless economy,” Opaleye added.
Opaleye’s statement corroborated the Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, that technology has significantly impacted Federal Government’s economy diversification policy.
Danbatta had said at an event in Abuja recently that e-commerce was an important stream of technology revenue that has improved the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP). He stated that an estimated 76.7 million Nigerians shop online with expected rise to 122.5 million by 2025.
While welcoming the impressive performance of the technology sector as encouraging, Opaleye said B2B platforms would continue to be pivotal to the growth of the manufacturing and informal retail value chain as a major driver of the e-commerce system.
He said as the technology frontiers expand, many more Nigerians would migrate online for shopping and adopt digital payment platforms because of convenience while the national economy would grow stronger.
Speaking on his firm’s strategic roadmap for the growth of B2B e-commerce in Nigeria, Opaleye stated that among the numerous solutions put in place by Alerzo is ownership of more than 400 vehicles and 40 warehouses across Nigeria to ensure goods get to the consumers in all the cities, towns and villages across the country faster by delivering to the retailers at no extra cost.
‘‘Alerzo is Nigeria’s an indigenous tech startup focused on bolstering the growth of the informal sector in Nigeria. We are a strategic company, so we have created an end-to-end cocoon in the B2B ecosystem by serving the critical need of the niche Factory-to-Retail distribution segment to deliver fast moving consumer goods to retailers in different cities across Nigeria.
‘‘Our over 40 warehouse facilities and 400 vehicles ensure goods are delivered to the retailers even in hard-to-reach locations, free of charge. The creation of proprietary infrastructure and provision of bespoke digital products such as Alerzoshop, Alerzopay, Veedez among others are ways we are promoting the growth and profitability of informal retailers and micro businesses,’’ he said.
Opaleye further stated that through Alerzopay PoS terminals, informal traders are empowered with a new stream of income, in addition to the ease and profits they get as subscribers on the e-commerce platform, while investment in owned fleet and warehouses ensure deliveries are done within four hours of order.
He also disclosed that through geo-mapping of coverage areas, the company has developed softwares to provide banking solutions to customers, one of which is Veedez app that supports micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) with easy-to-use bookkeeping and inventory tracking systems.