Emma Okonji

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.