Jumia Nigeria on Tuesday said that the restructuring of trade barriers, cross border and taxational cross border tariffs by the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, will foster partnerships amongst e-commerce companies within and outside the continent.
Juliet Anammah, the chief executive officer of Jumia Nigeria said in Lagos that the continental free trade agreement is good for the Nigerian economy and the whole of Africa and that signing it would be beneficial. She noted that in order to ensure the flow of goods and services from one African country to another and for export products to become attractive, the federal government needs to take the necessary step because the actual removal of the barriers, reshaping of the tariffs can be done only by the government.
“By the time government establishes the right trade agreement, and the right tariffs – cross border tariffs and taxational cross borders, partnerships with foreign e-commerce companies will naturally evolve,” she said.
She gave an example saying that “as a consumer I could go to a Moroccan website and see an item I want to buy from Nigeria. But by the time I check the cost of transshipment from Nigeria to Morocco, it really won’t make sense for me because of cross border taxation and the tariffs that are applicable. Once those are sorted out, potential partnerships within the continent will be organic and the economy will feel the impact.”
The agreement has been signed by 44 African countries, excluding Nigeria, and concern has been expressed by companies, including Jumia Nigeria, over the country’s delay in signing the pact, which would affect trade in goods, services, investment, and rules and procedures on dispute settlement.
Anammah also debunked a claim that Jumia might be expanding its coast to China to rival the incumbent leader, Alibaba. She said that “we definitely do not have any plans to expand our operations to China. However, we handle shipping for Chinese vendors who list their products on our platform, helping them to identify potential shippers they can use to aggregate in such a way that the shipping cost in Nigeria will be lower for the final customer.”