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Jumia Nigeria reviews security structures, raises safety of sales delivery partners

Fears of collapse amongst online retail businesses in Nigeria was recently heightened by two incidences leading to the death of two staff of major online groups, Jumia and UBER driver recently.

Whereas Chukwuma Ejele, a delivery partner with Jumia in Port Harcourt was cut short in his prime when he went to deliver some smartphones to a house in Port Harcourt, two men allegedly strangled, Iniovosa Emmanuel the UBER driver in Lagos on April 11 before escaping with his car to Edo State.

The UBER case was very touching as suspects who have been arrested had reportedly boarded the vehicle from Ikeja enroute Ogba before ordering the late driver to head for a different direction where he was killed.

Chukwuma, the Jumia agent, who delivered two classy smartphones to a customer in Port Harcourt, on March 26, was killed in a similar manner and dumped in a septic tank by the three people at the point of delivery.

Few years ago, a housemaid sourced from OLX online services plotted and bolted away her mistress’s child in a commando-styled kidnap, but was later arrested.

An assessment of the three scenarios shows that the issue of poor national database has a hand in driving all the crimes, thus sparking off the need for better security in online services in the country.

Industry experts say if something is not done faster, online businesses, estimated to be worth $10 billion (about N3.06 trillion) in the country may go extinct.

But a recent interview, the e-Head of the Public Relations and Social Media, Jumia Nigeria, Ms. Ojuola Asuquo, said that the late delivery agent, Chukwuma Eleje, was not actually their official but an employee of a third party logistics provider, iHub Global Solutions.

She was quick to state that “Jumia has completed a comprehensive review of our delivery operations and the framework for all service providers to be put in place. Most of these measures are kept confidential for security reason”.

She disclosed that customers would now notice far reaching safety check as “Delivery agents who receive a call from a customer asking for a change in their delivery address after the agent has already left the office have been asked to notify the office and obtain approval before proceeding to the new delivery address”

“Agents will make all deliveries in an open and visible space, not inside private residences. Where it becomes necessary for an agent to enter a customer’s residence, for example, to assist with a heavy item being delivered, the agent will notify the office before entering the residence.

Asuquo said added to other internal efforts of e-Commerce groups, “it would be heart-warming if the government fast-tracks the implementation of the national identity card, saying it would go a long way in reducing the incidence of online fraud”.

According to her, such a database can be used to verify customers’ identities and in cases of investigating wrongdoing, it will also provide addresses and additional personal information.

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