Governments around the world are waking up to the need for the regulation of e-commerce within their countries. The Nigerian government is not left behind as the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) last month disclosed plans to set up a comprehensive framework that would regulate the conduct of electronic commerce transactions in the country.
What will such regulations mean for the prospects of e-commerce in an emerging economy like Nigeria? Addressing the issue, Head of PR and Offline Marketing of Kaymu Nigeria, Tomiwa Oladele said, “the decision to regulate the sector is very timely. The safety of online transactions cannot be overemphasized and is one that will have huge prospects for the industry if efficiently implemented”. She further added that the key features of the new bill which includes non-disclosure of proper information on products, “will help to checkmate misleading product information on some e-commerce platforms thereby giving more customers confidence to shop online’’.
The electronic transaction bill which will regulate the e-commerce sector and protect consumers was passed by the National Assembly on June 3, 2015 and awaits presidential approval before it becomes a law. Among the issues highlighted for regulation are non-disclosure of full information on products and services, deceptive advertisement, improper description of products, delivery of defective products, poor informal dispute settlement procedures, double payments and poor customer service. The proposed law stems from the growing concern over safety of online transactions in Nigeria.
The Nigerian retail sector has faced so many challenges in recent years, but the birth of e-commerce has been a bright spot for many entrepreneurs that embraced it. Today, e-commerce has revolutionized the way companies conduct business transactions and places consumers’ purchasing power at the click of a button.
By Pita Ochai