America’s Jeff Bezos, founder of e-commerce giant, Amazon, is becoming a trillionaire in the midst of COVID-19 global pandemic. This is both good and bad news.
Good news because it is the reward of foresight and tenacity.
Bad news because in the midst of the same pandemic, his e-commerce counterparts in Nigeria are counting losses. The difference is not in the business dexterity of Bezos nor in the poor marketing skills of the Nigerian counterparts. The difference, unfortunately, is how the two governments reacted to the pandemic and its attendant lockdown.
While the US government gave a clear signal to e-commerce companies in America to move freely during lockdown to make delivery in anticipation of a surge in online shopping, the Nigerian government did the opposite. It locked down e-commerce activities by not clearly classifying e-commerce companies and their workers under ‘essential services’.
This is the difference between a 21st century policy-smart government and other governments. The S government anticipated a spike in online sales during the lockdown and gave free access to Amaon and other e-commerce workers. The Nigerian government was too happy to lock down e-comerce firms alongside other businesses.
Now, for the smartness of the US government, Bezos is walking his way to trillions. Imagine the tax that would add to US government purse. Imagine the number of jobs it will save when other companies around the world have either furloughed their staff or have sacked them outright.
This is a case of the absence of critical and strategic thinking in the Nigeria public ecosystem.
Stakeholders say our leaders need to be intentionally progressive, as it is wrong to lock down a critical driver of the economy at a time when no-movement for the populace has been declared.