- Online Sales Record 20% Increase in Traffic Amidst Recession
Black Friday has come and gone, but amidst claims of economic recession in the country, players in the sector may have seen about 15 to 20 per cent increase in traffic compared to last year.
The Black Friday, which ran between November 23 to 29, across different eCommerce platforms including Jumia, Konga, Yudala, Spar, Dealdey, Kaymu among others in Nigeria, is usually the Friday after the American Thanksgiving, and it is one of the major shopping days of the year in the United States.
Besides, this day has been known as the unofficial start to a bustling holiday shopping season with huge sales on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which is the Monday after Thanksgiving holiday, created by marketing companies to persuade people to shop online.
In an email chat, Manager, Public Relations & Communication, Konga, Oluwayemisi Mafe, said the platform saw 15 per cent growth in traffic compared with last year’s, with home & kitchen appliance sold the most this year.
Mafe said Konga saw 33 per cent increase in gross earnings compared with last year.
Corroborating claims of huge traffic, a senior officer with Kaymu, who preffred anonymity, said people defied the recession and shopped very well. According to her, traffic rose by 15 to 20 per cent.
Yudala also claimed to have witnessed huge traffic on the plaftrom, stressing that within the first 12 hours of it’s Black Friday, it recorded a sales of about N450 million.
Speaking to on the record sales, Vice President, Yudala, Prince Nnamdi Ekeh, said people took advantage of the opportunity to shop immensely.
He pointed out that some people actually shopped ahead of the Christmas period.
Ekeh pointed out that between December 2015 and November 2016, prices of electronics rose by 60 per cent and some other items because of currency issues among others, “so people just latched on the opportunity of this Black Friday to shop ahead.”
Chief Executive Officer, Jumia Nigeria, Juliet Anammah, said Nigerians have not stopped buying but have instead, re-prioritised their shopping needs “and so retail stores are seeing more purchases in household items and children’s items rather than the regular impulse buying of clothing items.
“Being realistic, it is not that customers have stopped shopping, it’s just that they shop for different things and their priorities change, so you find that this year we have, in addition to home appliances that people may buy like washing machines, air conditioners, blenders, irons, and things they need for their home, we also realised that people may also shop for their babies, which we never had before but now we have diapers and baby clothes, to the extent that the objectives of this black Friday features broadening the scope of what you offer to customers and also negotiating ahead for these customers on the kinds of deals that we can offer them,” Anammah said.
To confirm that the economic recession was in no way stopping Nigerians from buying discounted items online, Annamah revealed that; “in the first few hours that Black Friday sale was launched on November 14, 2016, Jumia had about 5,300 customer orders.”
Nigeria’s Big Oil-Refining Revamp Gets Off To A Slow Start
A year after shutting down all of its dilapidated refineries to figure out how to fix them, Nigeria still can’t say how much it will cost to do the work or where the money will come from.
Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. said it has finished the appraisal of its largest facility, but hasn’t completed the process at two others. Refining experts said the extended halt means the plants are at risk of rotting away and unlikely to restart on time.
“Things haven’t been looking good lately,” with Nigeria’s plants probably “completely out of action for some 18 months,” said Elitsa Georgieva, Executive Director at Citac, a consultant that specializes in African refining.
The dysfunction of its domestic refineries has long put Africa’s biggest oil producer in an ironic situation. It exports large volumes of crude to plants overseas, then pays a premium to import the fuels its customers produce.
Pledges to fix the facilities have been made and broken again and again over the years. For at least a decade, NNPC’s 445,000 barrels a day of refining capacity barely processed 20% of that amount.
The latest effort to fix the refineries was supposed to be different to the failed attempts that came before. The company had totally shut all three plants down by January 2020 to do a comprehensive appraisal, and set the ambitious target of having them all back up and running at 90% of capacity by 2023.
“The refineries have been deliberately shut down to allow for a thorough diagnosis,” said Kennie Obateru, an Abuja-based NNPC spokesman. “They can be fixed based on what the diagnosis reveals.”
The appraisal of the 210,000-barrel-a day Port Harcourt refinery has been completed and NNPC has called for bids for the necessary repairs, Obateru said. The company hasn’t determined how much the work will cost.
“It is when we close the bids, everything is analyzed and presented that we will know how much we need,” he said.
The diagnosis is underway at the 125,000-barrel-a-day Warri facility and should be complete before the end of the year, he said. After that, the study of the 110,000-barrel-a-day Kaduna plant will commence.
One year into the process, refining analysts are skeptical that all this work can be done by 2023.
“I don’t think anyone has a good understanding technically of what’s wrong with those refineries,” said Alan Gelder, vice president of refining, chemicals and oil markets at Wood Mackenzie Ltd. “They’re probably corroding, which makes it a very difficult proposition.”
NNPC reaffirmed its deadline and said there’s no reason the refineries, which are at least 40 years old, can’t be restored to full operation.
“There are refineries that are over a hundred years old still running, so age is not necessarily an impediment,” Obateru said.
There are parallel efforts backed by private companies to add to Nigeria’s capacity. Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest person, is building a state-of-the-art 650,000 barrel-a-day refinery, which Citac estimates will start production in 2023.
Bringing NNPC’s Port Harcourt refinery to the same clean-fuel standards as Dangote’s modern plant would cost about $1.3 billion for the equipment, on top of whatever other repairs are required to get the facility running, Georgieva said.
NNPC is talking to oil-trading firms about $1 billion of prepayment deals that could finance the repairs at Port Harcourt, Reuters reported last week. Obateru declined to comment on the report, but said “I don’t envisage that we will have a problem getting people to invest.”
Food Inflation Hits Record High of 19.56 Percent in December 2020
Food Index, which measures prices of food items, grew by 19.56 percent in the month of December 2020 amid herdsmen attacks and flooding.
In the latest report from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), increases were recorded on Bread and cereals, Potatoes, Yam and other
tubers, Meat, Fruits, Vegetable, Fish and Oils and fats.
On month on monthly basis, the food sub-index rose by 2.05 percent in December 2020, 0.01 percent from 2.04 percent recorded in November 2020.
“The average annual rate of change of the Food sub-index for the twelve-month period ending December 2020 over the previous twelve-month average was 16.17 percent, 0.42 percent points from the average annual rate of change recorded in November 2020 (15.75) percent” the report stated.
Headline inflation number increased by 15.75 percent in the month of December 2020, up from 14.89 percent.
The report noted that increases were recorded in all COICOP divisions that yielded the Headline index.
On a month-on-month basis, “the urban index rose by 1.65 percent in December 2020, same as the rate recorded in November 2020, while the rural index also rose by 1.58 percent in December 2020, up by 0.02 percent above the rate that was recorded in November 2020 (1.56 percent).”
Nigeria’s Inflation Rate Rises to 15.75 Percent in December
Inflation rate in Africa’s largest economy, Nigeria, rose at the fastest pace in several months in the last month of 2020, according to the latest report from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
Consumer Price Index (CPI), which measures inflation rate, increased by 15.75 percent year-on-year in December 2020, representing a 0.86 percent increment from the 14.89 percent attained in November.
On a monthly basis, headline inflation rose by 1.61 percent in the month of December, representing 0.01 percent increase from the 1,60 percent posted in the month of November.
Food gauge that measures prices of items in Africa’s largest economy increased by 19.56 percent in December from 18.30 percent in November.
NBS attributed the increase to the surge in prices of Bread and cereals, Potatoes, Yam and other tubers, Meat, Fruits, Vegetable, Fish and Oils and fats.
On a monthly basis, the food sub-index grew by 2.05 percent in December 2020, an increase of 0.01 percent points from 2.04 percent recorded in November 2020.
The more stable annual rate showed Food sub-index over the last 12 months increased by 0.42 percent points from 15.75 percent in November to 16.17 percent in December.
Herdsmen attacks, the rising cost of fuel, flooding and the wide exchange rate are some of the key factors impacting the cost of food items in Nigeria, especially in December when demands were the highest.
Still lack of enough fiscal buffer to cushion the effect of COVID-19 and ease forex scarcity also drag on raw materials necessary for the production of some import-dependent items.
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