The Governor of Abia State, Okezie Ikpeazu, has advised South-East merchants to embrace manufacturing as returns begin to diminish, in the areas of traditional trading, due to the growth of e-commerce. The Governor gave the admonition during the inauguration of a committee saddled with the responsibility of establishing a University of Science and Technology in the state.
The university is expected to raise the level of manufacturing skills and facilities in the South-East region. Expected to sit in Aba, a notable commercial hub in the region, the institution will feed the manpower need of companies setting up manufacturing facilities in that part of Nigeria. With that, present and future generation of Igbo merchants will be fully adept in modern manufacturing and new technology; thereby transforming the people’s long-held approach to commerce.
While emphasising his point, Governor Ikpeazu said, “the essence of the University is to produce manpower that will assist in the economic development of Ndi Igbo, as the position of Ndi Igbo in trade and commerce is been threatened and need to be salvaged, through aggressive technology in its economic development”.
Precisely, e-commerce is fast taking market shares away from traditional centralised and specialised marketplace setting, the areas which the Igbos currently dominate. According to consulting firm, McKinsey, current e-commerce spending in Nigeria is estimated at $12 billion. By 2025, it is expected to rise to $75 billion per annum with advancement in payment gateways, growth in smartphone use, deeper broadband penetration and 5G playing key roles in that regard.