- Firm Unveils Africa’s On-demand Commodities Trading Platform
An eCommerce firm, OyaOya, has announced the pilot of its commodity trading marketplace on www.oyaoya.com to connect the commodity ecosystem across Nigeria and Africa.
The OyaOya platform rides on cutting-edge technology to connect four essential components together in a seamless and efficient flow – a marketplace for vendors to present their products; customers to select a product; commodity transporters and an escrow payment system for secure transactions.
The Chief Executive Officer, OyaOya, Khalil Halilu announced the pilot run of the marketplace with over 3,000 registered vendors already saying that it opens Africa’s first Commodity on-demand hub leveraging technology to raise the bar for the commodity value chain across the continent.
He said: “Nigeria and other African economies are projected to increase shares of the global sales due to growing participation in eCommerce and accelerated growth forecast expected out of developing economies.
OyaOya aims to have 10 per cent of farmers and 40 per cent of petroleum product traders on its platform by the end of 2018. We are also mindful that today’s urban dweller is a very busy person.
He or she does not have the time to go out for cooking gas or shop around for groceries. Similarly, businesses want access to the best items at the best prices, delivered to them with ease. This is where OyaOya comes in. The platform provides the customer access to vendors, giving him or her choices based on brand, price, time it takes to deliver and even a vendors rating by other customers.”
According to him, apart from providing a one-stop-shop for commodity market information, OyaOya will also fill the gap for driving efficiency and effective distribution across Nigeria and other African economies.
“OyaOya is an enterprise based on our user friendly online platform designed to connect customers to vendors within close proximity for easy and secure on demand transactions. We believe that buying and selling does not have to be tedious, or time-consuming. We do all the heavy-lifting so you do not have to. We bring a highly innovative and confident team together to make sure we deliver value and quality, when and where you need it – no hassle, no hustle,” he added.
Halilu explained that it is settled long ago that Africa is the commodity-capital of the world, yet the continent has not been able to effectively distribute its resources amongst its people.
“Farmers face several challenges including trying to get their products to market, inadequate information on how, where and at what price to sell produce. This is compounded by customers not being able to locate them, a mismatch between transporters and owners of commodities, among other factors that have undermined the global competitiveness of the local commodity merchants,” he said.
He explained that commodity prices would be volatile and extremely difficult to predict, which is due to several challenges faced in the African commodity ecosystem. Some products like petroleum are priced high while some agricultural products are underpriced.
He cited Benue State as an example in the Middle Belt of Nigeria where farmers tend to lose their produce to decay as they cannot get access to customers on time, resulting to losses in both produce and profit.
“OyaOya is positioned to be a key partner of choice to the commodity ecosystem and drive improved performance for the entire value chain,” Halilu said.
IBEDC Disconnects UCH Over N500m Debt, Critical Services Affected
The University College Hospital (UCH) in Ibadan, Oyo State, experienced a disruption in its power supply after the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) disconnected the hospital over a debt amounting to N500 million.
Dr. Jesse Otegbayo, the Chief Medical Director of UCH, confirmed the disconnection but refrained from elaborating on the exact cause.
IBEDC’s spokesperson, Busolami Tunwase, acknowledged the outstanding debt owed by UCH but denied that the disconnection was intentional.
Tunwase stated that while UCH owed the substantial amount, the power outage was due to a technical fault in the area, coinciding with the debt situation.
Despite repeated attempts to engage UCH in discussions to settle the debt, IBEDC had resorted to disconnection as a last resort.
The disconnection poses significant challenges to UCH’s critical services, affecting patient care and hospital operations.
While IBEDC emphasized its understanding of the hospital’s importance and commitment to resolving the issue amicably, the situation underscores the financial strains faced by healthcare institutions and the essential need for reliable power supply.
Efforts to negotiate and find a resolution between UCH and IBEDC are ongoing to restore normal operations and ensure uninterrupted healthcare services.
Oil and Gas Dealers Threaten Withdrawal as 70% of Downstream Businesses Collapse
The downstream oil sector in Nigeria faces a looming crisis as oil and gas dealers, represented by the Natural Oil and Gas Suppliers Association of Nigeria (NOGASA), issue a stern warning of potential service withdrawal.
In a recent resolution following their executive committee meeting in Abuja, NOGASA expressed grave concerns over the collapse of approximately 70% of businesses in the industry due to the harsh operating environment.
President of NOGASA, Benneth Korie, highlighted the dire situation, emphasizing the challenges faced by oil marketers in funding operations amidst soaring bank interest rates.
Korie underscored the overwhelming burden faced by operators who are compelled to acquire funds at exorbitant interest rates upwards of 30%, exacerbating financial strain and hindering business viability.
The primary demand voiced by NOGASA is the pegging of the foreign exchange rate at N750/$ to facilitate refinery operations and stimulate the production of refined products domestically.
Failure to address these pressing issues, Korie warned, could result in the withdrawal of services by NOGASA’s over 200 members starting from the next month.
The downstream oil crisis coincides with heightened anticipation for the release of refined petroleum products from the Dangote and Port Harcourt refineries, seen as critical for alleviating supply shortages nationwide.
However, amidst forex crises and inflationary pressures, operators in the oil and gas sector confront mounting economic challenges, necessitating urgent government intervention.
As Nigeria navigates through turbulent economic waters, stakeholders eagerly await decisive action from authorities to salvage the downstream oil sector from imminent collapse and avert potential disruptions in fuel supply chains.
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