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Nigeria is Highly Important For Global Market, Says Aramex

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iyad-kamal

Iyad Kamal is the Chief Operating Officer, Aramex International, a global provider of logistics and technology. Kamal spoke with ADEYEMI ADEPETUN, about the importance of the Nigerian market to global business. He spoke on how the eCommerce sector can improve in the country.

How will you place the Nigerian ICT industry?
In Nigeria, we see telecommunications infrastructure has been very advance. Credit card usage is also increasing, even if there are challenges around it; cash-on-delivery is also permitted. I don’t think there are obstacles to doing good business in Nigeria. Mobile penetration is high and eCommerce services are getting bigger. So, the market here in Nigeria is actually ready for the new phase of technology growth. I don’t see why Nigeria should not be a major hub for mobile technology growth or eCommerce development in Africa. The fact remains that Nigeria has become highly important for global market.

What value and volume of business is Aramex bringing to the Nigerian system?
Aramex is bringing in the global network; this is because Nigeria is a global and important destination for businesses. The population here is huge and the atmosphere is still not volatile for doing buiness. So, for Aramex, Nigeria is a big partner. We are bringing in technology, business and the entire global community so that they can tap and add value to the ecosystem here.

We want people to enjoy the Aramex culture, which tends to differentiate us from competition. We shall also be very aggressive in investing in startups that can help to achieve Aramex vision in Nigeria. The startup can be a technology or logistic firms.

We shall aggressively tap business development in the country. Though we have partners, we are also going to deliver services individually. We shall partner with both IT and logistics firms to be able to get to every part of Nigeria. In another few years, we see Aramex becoming the logistics player of choice in the Nigerian market. This is based on the experience we coming with

Can we know more about your services?
We are talking about our expansion here in Nigeria, especially as it relates to the type of technology we are bringing into the country, especially in eCommerce. For us at Aramex, we have concluded that whatever technology being deployed in other markets, especially the advanced ones, we shall bring them here.

Now, on the consumer side, we have been able to develop an app. Aramex consumer app can be downloaded by consumers. It is for those who have ordered Aramex to help deliver the goods. So, the customer can track the goods online. With the app, he can purchase and pay for the goods online. The target is to improve consumer experience.

We have also launched courier app, where anyone can easily become Aramex courier. It is a mobile app, where you can easily with it becomea major part of Aramex.

We are also deploying a very big data engine technology in Nigeria, whereby all the information coming out from eCommerce, especially lastmile delivery process can be harnessed for economic growth. We have developed a vast technology that can easily analyse data to improve customer satisfaction.

You mentioned eCommerce, which of the players are you providing logistics solution for in Nigeria?
It is a combination. We targets both local retailers in Nigeria and international ecommerce players from across the globe, be it from USA, Europe, China and even South Africa that sees the Nigerian market as been critical for their business growth. We have solution from pick-up to lastmile strategy in Nigeria. We are opening up that solution and we have told clients that Nigeria is potential market for new services.

Do you have any relationship with market leaders including Jumia, Konga, Yudala and others in Nigeria?
We don’t do much business with them for now, but this is part of our strategy here. You see this eCommerce ecosystem is fast evolving and you will always see that you nee to work with them all from the smallest to the biggest. We all need each others. The market is big, so that strategy must fast and dynamic. We are focusing also on the SMEs.

Some of the solutions you are canvassing for, how fast do we see them impacting positively on the eCommerce sector?
This has to do with the direction of global trade. Today, it has become much easier to buy goods from any part of the world. Besides, clearances from across the globe are becoming easier for people. Countries globally, through our research are looking for ways to improve eCommerce, so they are becoming more accommodating, introducing new experience across board.So, where Aramex comes in, including other competition, is to make the entire ecosystem seamless without hitches for customers. We are deploying solutions that make the entire process simpler and faster for all to benefit.

A critical aspect of eCommerce is lastmile infrastructure and this is still a challenge in Nigeria, how is Aramex going to deal with this situation?
To look at this, you have to dissect the entire issue. We need not to have Aramex delivering the entire process. It is possible to select three or four couriers that are specialised in those areas. It is also possible to select another 20 couriers that focus on the rural areas, especially outside Lagos.

The whole issues revolved around getting the experts in those fields, then make them a sub of you and let them deliver the services on your behalf of the company.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Crude Oil

Oil Dips Below $62 in New York Though Banks Say Rally Can Extend

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Oil

Oil Dips Below $62 in New York Though Banks Say Rally Can Extend

Oil retreated from an earlier rally with investment banks and traders predicting the market can go significantly higher in the months to come.

Futures in New York pared much of an earlier increase to $63 a barrel as the dollar climbed and equities slipped. Bank of America said prices could reach $70 at some point this year, while Socar Trading SA sees global benchmark Brent hitting $80 a barrel before the end of the year as the glut of inventories built up during the Covid-19 pandemic is drained by the summer.

The loss of oil output after the big freeze in the U.S. should help the market firm as much of the world emerges from lockdowns, according to Trafigura Group. Inventory data due later Tuesday from the American Petroleum Institute and more from the Energy Department on Wednesday will shed more light on how the Texas freeze disrupted U.S. oil supply last week.

Oil has surged this year after Saudi Arabia pledged to unilaterally cut 1 million barrels a day in February and March, with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. predicting the rally will accelerate as demand outpaces global supply. Russia and Riyadh, however, will next week once again head into an OPEC+ meeting with differing opinions about adding more crude to the market.

“The freeze in the U.S. has proved supportive as production was cut,” said Hans van Cleef, senior energy economist at ABN Amro. “We still expect that Russia will push for a significant rise in production,” which could soon weigh on prices, he said.

PRICES

  • West Texas Intermediate for April fell 27 cents to $61.43 a barrel at 9:20 a.m. New York time
  • Brent for April settlement fell 8 cents to $65.16

Brent’s prompt timespread firmed in a bullish backwardation structure to the widest in more than a year. The gap rose above $1 a barrel on Tuesday before easing to 87 cents. That compares with 25 cents at the start of the month.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. and oil trader Vitol Group shot down talk of a new oil supercycle, though they said a lack of supply response will keep prices for crude prices firm in the short term.

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Crude Oil

Oil Prices Rise With Storm-hit U.S. Output Set for Slow Return

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Crude oil

Oil Prices Rise With Storm-hit U.S. Output Set for Slow Return

Oil prices rose on Monday as the slow return of U.S. crude output cut by frigid conditions served as a reminder of the tight supply situation, just as demand recovers from the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Brent crude was up $1.38, or 2.2%, at $64.29 per barrel. West Texas Intermediate gained $1.38, or 2.33%, to trade at $60.62 per barrel.

Abnormally cold weather in Texas and the Plains states forced the shutdown of up to 4 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude production along with 21 billion cubic feet of natural gas output, analysts estimated.

Shale oil producers in the region could take at least two weeks to restart the more than 2 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude output affected, sources said, as frozen pipes and power supply interruptions slow their recovery.

“With three-quarters of fracking crews standing down, the likelihood of a fast resumption is low,” ANZ Research said in a note.

For the first time since November, U.S. drilling companies cut the number of oil rigs operating due to the cold and snow enveloping Texas, New Mexico and other energy-producing centres.

OPEC+ oil producers are set to meet on March 4, with sources saying the group is likely to ease curbs on supply after April given a recovery in prices, although any increase in output will likely be modest given lingering uncertainty over the pandemic.

“Saudi Arabia is eager to pursue yet higher prices in order to cover its social break-even expenses at around $80 a barrel while Russia is strongly focused on unwinding current cuts and getting back to normal production,” said SEB chief commodity analyst Bjarne Schieldrop.

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Crude Oil

Crude Oil Rose Above $65 Per Barrel as US Production Drop Due to Texas Weather

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oil

Crude Oil Rose Above $65 Per Barrel as US Production Drop Due to Texas Weather

Oil prices rose to $65.47 per barrel on Thursday as crude oil production dropped in the US due to frigid Texas weather.

The unusual weather has left millions in the dark and forced oil producers to shut down production. According to reports, at least the winter blast has claimed 24 lives.

Brent crude oil gained $2 to $65.47 on Thursday morning before pulling back to $64.62 per barrel around 11:00 am Nigerian time.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose 2.3 percent to settle at $61.74 per barrel.

“This has just sent us to the next level,” said Bob Yawger, director of energy futures at Mizuho in New York. “Crude oil WTI will probably max out somewhere pretty close to $65.65, refinery utilization rate will probably slide to somewhere around 76%,” Yawger said.

However, the report that Saudi Arabia plans to increase production in the coming months weighed on crude oil as it can be seen in the chart below.

Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, Saudi Arabian Energy Minister, warned that it was too early to declare victory against the COVID-19 virus and that oil producers must remain “extremely cautious”.

“We are in a much better place than we were a year ago, but I must warn, once again, against complacency. The uncertainty is very high, and we have to be extremely cautious,” he told an energy industry event.

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