Software expert calls for stronger online presence by Nigerian SMEs

A software developer,  Austin Agbakor, says the importance of massively orientating Small and Medium-Scale Enterprises (SMEs) to have an online presence to connect to the world.

Agbakor, who is the Chief Executive Officer, `Softwareshop’, an Information and Communication Technology (ICT) firm, said that SMEs that lacked an online presence had no relevance in future.

The software developer said that to have an online presence meant having a registered website and a store online where customers could access products for sale.

According to him, the government should recommend massive orientation for every business to create their online store, build a website and put up a social media advertisement to connect to the world.

Agbakor said that as it were, online stores such as Jumia are taking over some of the business due to their online presence and ability to reach the world.

He said that the SMEs, who had registered websites and had online stores, would remain in business and be relevant.

“There should be a working policy from regulatory bodies or professional associations such as Computer and Applied Products Association of Nigeria (CAPDAN) on regulation of the activities of these online stores, especially as it affects technology.

“There should be regulations on what, who and how to sell certain products online.

“This is to avoid conflict of interest and to help the indigenous SMEs who have online presence to remain relevant in the business.

“Believe me in time to come; the market will completely go out of the reach of SMEs that do not have online presence,’’ the software developer said.

Agbakor said that government should also understand the need to protect local businesses and SMEs to enable them compete effectively online.

He said that regulatory and professional bodies should do more by sensitising SMEs on the need to go digital with the sales of their products.

The software developer recommended that the regulatory bodies should protect their members by suggesting policy that would benefit the SMEs and enable them improve the economic growth of the country.