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E-commerce is a rapidly growing industry in Nigeria, with the country’s economy making a push towards cashless payments as digital payments become more popular.
However, there are several legal and regulatory considerations that businesses need to be aware of before selling online in Nigeria. In this article, we will discuss the rules of e-commerce in Nigeria and what businesses need to know before selling online.
Legal Framework for E-commerce in Nigeria
Nigeria does not have specific legislation or regulations governing online business. However, several laws and regulations are relevant to e-commerce in Nigeria, including:
The Cybercrimes Act of 2015
This law was signed into law to prohibit and prevent fraud in e-commerce. The purpose of the Cybercrimes Act of 2015 extends beyond prohibiting, preventing, and criminalizing online fraud, but also prescribes punishments and sets the institutional framework for enforcement
The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act (FCCPA)
This act regulates competition and consumer protection in Nigeria. It applies to all businesses, including those that operate online.
The National Information Technology Development Agency Act, 2007
This act established the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) as the regulatory body responsible for the development of a framework of rules for the governance and regulation of information technology practices in Nigeria.
The Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, Etc.) Act 2015
This act provides for the prohibition, prevention, detection, response, investigation and prosecution of cybercrimes in Nigeria
Regulatory Guidelines for E-commerce Businesses
There are currently no specific laws on e-commerce in Nigeria, however, there are several Bills on the subject before the National Assembly awaiting assent.
Developing a new legal framework is needed on the subject of e-commerce in Nigeria. In the meantime, businesses should be aware of the following regulatory guidelines:
- Electronic Consumer (E-consumer): The word consumer encompasses different categories of persons. It comprises all end users of goods and services. It is important to note that a group or class of individual consumers can also be accommodated within the meaning of a consumer.
- Data Protection: Businesses should be aware of the data protection laws in Nigeria and ensure that they comply with them.
- Electronic Evidence: Businesses should be aware of the rules of evidence in Nigeria and ensure that they comply with them.
- E-payment System: Many e-commerce payment platforms like Paypal and other international payment platforms or gateways have their rules restricting some types of transactions and the Central Bank of Nigeria also has regulations concerning financial transactions which business owners must know for a smooth running of business in order not to run afoul of the law.
Conclusion: The Rules of E-commerce in Nigeria
E-commerce is a rapidly growing industry in Nigeria, but businesses need to be aware of the legal and regulatory considerations before selling online.
While there are currently no specific laws on e-commerce in Nigeria, businesses should comply with the relevant laws and regulations, including the Cybercrimes Act of 2015, the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act (FCCPA), the National Information Technology Development Agency Act, 2007, and the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, Etc.) Act 2015.