Our society and Businesses use middlemen a lot to get transactions and activities done as quickly as possible but the scenario seems to have changed as the middlemen seem to have gained unrivalled power over other players in the transactions and negotiations.
The middleman is another word for an intermediary involved in a transaction. The Role of a middleman or intermediary is to facilitate interaction between two or more parties while receiving a commission or fee.
Their role as a facilitator or intermediary has however given that some many unchecked powers on pricing and how the supply or value chain should be run. These unchecked powers have to lead to them controlling how negotiations and transactions are made.
The middlemen’s ability to influence and control transaction and negotiation has generated concern as they are being seen as situation exploiters who go extreme just to make money and this has lead to the clamouring for the possible elimination of the Middleman from the buying process.
Even Businesses are creating means by which middlemen are being eliminated in order to make buying easier and cheaper. This move by businesses has lead to rising in Direct to consumer businesses and brands.
The exorbitant prices charged by the middleman is one reason why people are trying to avoid them but it is very hard because there are situations where going through them in Nigeria might be beneficial however in many cases the use of the middleman has hindered faster process in buying.
You can see middlemen in virtually all sectors of industry in Nigeria but a few that comes to mind that and if an opportunity presents itself for people to eliminate are petroleum marketers who hike petroleum prices by forcing scarcity and also contribute to panic buying.
Another form of middlemen sadly increasing the flames of elimination is House agents and Caretakers who charge a large amount for agreements and commissions. Many Middlemen even gain from both the sellers and the buyers and yet look for opportunities to exploit an urgent need in order to increase prices.
While this is still a need for Middlemen in many industries, their activities need regulating. There have to be provisions for ethics, regulations, and mode of operations to govern this profession or trade.
This set of ethics and mode of operations would serve as a mini check and balance in order for them to come to terms with reality whenever they are taking their advantages and control too far and their greed is dominating the negotiation and conversations.