With over ₦205.4 billion worth of investment, courtesy of global retail brands in the last three years, the Nigerian retail market sector remains an untapped territory for investors, especially Wal-Mart, one of the largest retail chains in America that is looking to broaden its investment in Nigeria.
Wal-Mart, which entered the Nigerian market in 2010 through its Massmart division- Game Discount World Nigeria Limited, currently runs three stores in Lagos under the “Game and Valumart” brands, and hopes to use its Nigerian expansion to boost its global net sales, which stood at $486 billion so far for the 2015 fiscal year in the 28 countries it has established presence.
Whitey Basson, CEO, Shoprite, noted at the opening of one of the outlets of Shoprite in Nigeria that the country can handle 600 to 800 stores if you look at the size of the cities and the penetration of supermarkets, and it can happen quickly.
This and the over 200 stores operated by South Africans also put the likes of Wal-Mart and other foreign brands on their toes.
But while Shoprite may be the retail champions in Nigeria, Spar, Park N Shop, Cash ‘N’ Carry, Park N Shop, Adide, a Lebanese chain, are playing prominent role in shaping the shopping lifestyle of people. Adide, a Lebanese chain, PEP Store, owned by South African Pepkor group, are all doing same thing – wooing customers with the best of shopping experience.
As well, Mr. Price, Woolworth, Hugo Boss, among other prestige stores have also made their presence better felt by the Nigerian shoppers.
Of course, Lagos is ready to welcome as many retail chains as possible, especially now that oil price has fallen and governments at all levels are making effort at increasing their internally generated revenue.
At a meeting between Akinwunmi Ambode, governor of Lagos State and a group delegation led by Shelley Broader, president/CEO, Wal-Mart Europe, Middle East, Africa and Canada, the governor said Lagos under his watch was eager to attract foreign investments, which informed the creation of the Office of Oversea Affairs and Investment to act as a one-stop shop for investors willing to take advantage of the business potentials inherent in Lagos economy.
“As we speak we have 21 million people in Lagos and 4 million of this population are middle class. As much as possible we’re looking to attracting investments into the economy to be able to get the youths off the streets, and I am offering my commitment to making the investment climate conducive,” said Ambode.
The governor explained that the decision by Wal-Mart to centre its Nigerian expansion plans on Lagos speaks to the confidence the group has in the state, adding “we have the manpower, the citizens willing and able to work, and an expanding middle class ready to buy products and services of international standard.
“I was elected to boost employment and opportunity in Lagos, and this cooperation with Wal-Mart is an important step towards fulfilling that pledge.”
Broader speaking to the plans by Wal-Mart, said the company was incorporating into its expansion bid training of Nigerian youths in customers’ relations and how to produce and package products for export. She also announced plans to open two more game shops in Nigeria within the next two months while exploring other opportunities for greater investment in the economy.
Top Nigerian economy analysts hailed Wal-Mart’s expansion plan noting that globally retail trade accounts for 27 percent of the world’s GDP, which means there are about $19 trillion of retail sales each year.
According to them, the retail sector also employs about 17 percent of the global workforce, about 800 million people. In the United States alone, one in every 10 people works in the retail sector, hence further investments in the sector in Nigeria are a welcomed development, they agreed.
By Agency Report
Arunma Oteh, Vice President and Treasurer of the World Bank
Arunma, a Nigerian national, was most recently the Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Nigeria. Appointed to a five-year term by the President of Nigeria in 2010, she led the transformation of the country’s capital markets industry into a major global presence. She was a member of the Board of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) and the Chairperson of the Africa Middle East Regional Committee of IOSCO.
Prior to joining the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of Nigeria, Arunma was Group Vice President, Corporate Services, at the African Development Bank Group (AfDB). In this role she oversaw a number of departments, including human resources, information and communications technology, and institutional procurement. From 2001 to 2006 she held the role of AfDB Group Treasurer, where she led AfDB’s fundraising and capital market activities across the world. Earlier roles at the AfDB, which she joined in 1992, included trading room management, investment portfolio coverage, and public sector lending. She also held other positions in capital markets and lending during the course of her career at the AfDB. Arunma began her career in 1985 at Centre Point, where she executed debt and equity offerings in the Nigerian capital markets.
She earned her Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the University of Nigeria and her Masters of Business Administration from Harvard University.
As VP and Treasurer, Arunma will manage and lead a large and diverse team responsible for managing more than $150 billion in assets. Her top priorities will be to: (i) maintain the World Bank’s global reputation as a prudent and innovative borrower, investor and risk manager; (ii) manage an extensive client advisory, transaction and asset management business for the Bank; (iii) engage, in her capacity as one of the World Bank’s key representatives, with outside stakeholders including global private sector financial institutions, the financial media and the sovereign debt and reserve managers in client countries, as well as ratings agencies; and (iv) collaborate extensively with the Finance Partners throughout the WBG, including with IFC and MIGA, expanding shared approaches, in particular around innovative financing for development and for key new projects.
Ms. Oteh was selected to this position through an international competitive search. Her appointment is effective on September 28, 2015
Obama: African entrepreneurs are vital to the continent’s growth
U.S. President Barack Obama told African entrepreneurs in Kenya on Saturday they could help counter violent ideologies and drive growth in Africa, and said governments had to assist by ensuring the rule of law was upheld and by tackling corruption.
Obama was addressing a Global Entrepreneurship Summit at the start of the first visit by a serving U.S. president to Kenya, his father’s homeland and the biggest economy in east Africa, which has suffered attacks by Somali Islamist group al Shabaab.
Security was expected to top talks with President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House, where Obama received his official welcome with a gun salute. Kenyatta called the United States a “very strong supporter of Kenya” before closed discussions.
The talks at State House were attended by Deputy President William Ruto, who is facing charges at the International Criminal Court that he fomented ethnic killings after Kenya’s disputed 2007 election. He denies the charges. Kenyatta had faced similar charges, but the charges have since been dropped.
Obama is keen to boost business ties with Africa, where China overtook the United States as the continent’s biggest trade partner in 2009.
“Africa is on the move. Africa is one of the fastest growing regions in the world,” Obama told the conference, where he was greeted by applause when he began with the words “Jambo”, the Swahili for “hello”. “It is wonderful to be back in Kenya.
“Entrepreneurship offers a positive alternative to the ideologies of violence and division that can all too often fill the void when young people don’t see a future for themselves.”
He said government had a vital role on issues such as establishing the rule of law and curbing corruption, citing two issues often cited by businesses as major obstacles. He said more had to be done to help new firms secure capital.
“OPEN FOR BUSINESS”
An array of technology and other companies have started up in recent years in Africa in a bid to shift the continent away from a traditional focus of commodity exports, but entrepreneurs often complain they cannot find affordable capital.
“Africa is open for business,” Kenyatta said in his speech to open the entrepreneurship conference. “It is the time for a new generation of Africans to promote inclusive prosperity.”
Kenya’s economy is expected to grow by about 6 percent this year. The economy of Ethiopia, Obama’s next stop, is forecast to expand by more than 10 percent, although right groups say Addis Ababa’s economic achievements are at the expense of free speech.
The annual U.S.-sponsored conference was being held for the first time in sub-Saharan Africa at a U.N. compound in Nairobi.
After attending the conference, Obama laid a wreath to victims of the 1998 bombing by Islamist militants of the U.S. Embassy. The site of the attack in central Nairobi is now a memorial park. The new mission is further from the centre.
On arrival in Kenya on Friday, Obama had dinner with relatives at the central Nairobi hotel where he is staying.
Some Africans complain that Obama, whose father is buried in western Kenya, has not paid enough attention to the continent in his presidency. Obama has sought to change that perception, in part by hosting African leaders in Washington last year.
One of Obama’s initiatives, launched in 2013, was to boost electricity supplies across a continent where many are not on the grid. The goal is to add 30,000 megawatts (MW) of capacity. Deals to add 4,100 MW have been agreed so far, the White House said
Source: CNBC Africa
Nigeria’s president plans to split state oil company into two entities
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari plans to split the state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) into two entities, his spokesman said on Saturday.
Buhari, elected in March on promises to combat corruption, has made clear he wants to overhaul the oil sector in Africa’s biggest economy, which provides the government with around 70 percent of its revenue.
He has said his government will trace and recover what he called “mind-boggling” sums of money stolen from the oil sector.
“Mr President will soon split the NNPC into two entities. One will be an independent regulator and the other one an investor vehicle,” said spokesman Femi Adesina, who did not a provide a timeframe for the restructuring.
The NNPC currently represents national interests in oil and gas exploration, manages the energy sector and is the industry regulator in Africa’s top crude producer.
It has been accused of failing to account for billions of dollars in the last few years although it has said that the money was not lost.
An NNPC source, who wished to remain unnamed, said the planned changes were long overdue.
“We can’t continue to be a regulator, a revenue collector and a business, all rolled into one. That gives room for a lot of confusion, obfuscation and misrepresentation,” he said.
Last month Buhari dissolved the NNPC board and more sackings are expected.
The president, who has said he will not appoint a cabinet until September, is widely expected to keep the petroleum portfolio for himself.
Under the constitution, the NNPC is supposed to hand over its oil revenue to the federal government, which then pays back what the firm needs based on a budget approved by parliament.
But the act establishing the state oil company allows it to cover costs before remitting funds to the government.
Last month, the National Economic Council said the NNPC had earned 8.1 trillion naira ($41 billion) between 2012 and the end of May 2015, but paid only 4.3 trillion naira ($21.6 billion) to the federal government.
A 2013 investigation by former central bank governor Lamido Sanusi found the state oil company had failed to pay $20 billion in revenues to government accounts between January 2012 and July 2013.
The NNPC argued that the money could be accounted for. A subsequent inspection of NNPC accounts by PwC found that some funds were unaccounted for, but bemoaned a lack of cooperation and led to the issuing of an audit with extensive caveats. (Additional reporting by Alexis Akwagyiram in Lagos and Julia Payne in Abuja; Writing by Alexis Akwagyiram; Editing by Catherine Evans)
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has continued to implement its monetary policy tightening policy as it retained the key interest rate (Monetary Policy Rate) at 13 per cent.
The apex bank also retained the Cash Reserves Requirement (CRR) at 31 per cent.
Addressing the media shortly after the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting, on Friday in Abuja, the CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, disclosed that eight out of the 12 MPC members voted for the retention of the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) at 13 per cent with a corridor of +/- 200 basis points around the midpoint; retain the CRR at 31 per cent and retain the symmetric corridor of 200 basis points around the MPR.
The apex bank boss said the committee took the decision in consideration of the underlying fundamentals of the economy,the evolving international economic environment, developments in oil prices as well as the need to allow for the unveiling of the economic agenda of the Federal Government.
The governor disclosing that the MPC was concerned about the gradual but steady increase in headline inflation up to June 2015, noting that this
reflected a rise in both the core and food components of inflation.
He said core inflation rose to 8.4 per cent in June from 8.3 per cent in May, food inflation increased to 10 per cent from 9.8 per cent over
the same period.
Mr Emefiele said this was due to factors such as energy, arising from scarcity of petroleum products around the country, poor electricity supply and increased demand for transportation and food, from the build-up to the general elections and the ensuing Easter and Sallah celebrations.
Because of its commitment to price stability, Emefiele said the apex bank stated that the monetary policy would remain tight because of the high liquidity in the system.
However, he said that the drivers of the current upward inflationary spiral were of a transient nature and mostly outside the direct control of monetary policy.
“The committee underscored the need for the intensification of various ongoing initiatives to diversify the economy away from oil, and expand the base for foreign exchange receipts,” he disclosed
LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — Once stigmatized as the world’s polio epicenter, Nigeria on Friday celebrates its first year with no reported case of the crippling disease, having overcome obstacles ranging from Islamic extremists who assassinated vaccinators to rumors the vaccine was a plot to sterilize Muslims.
Just 20 years ago this West African nation was recording 1,000 polio cases a year — the highest in the world. The last recorded case of a child paralyzed by the wild polio virus endemic in Nigeria’s impoverished and mainly Muslim north was on July 24, 2014.
“We are celebrating the first time ever that Nigeria has gone without a case of polio, but with caution,” Dr. Tunji Funsho, chairman of Rotary International’s polio campaign in Nigeria, told The Associated Press.
If there are no new cases and laboratory tests remain negative in the next few weeks, the World Health Organization will take Nigeria off the list of polio-endemic countries, said Oliver Rosenbauer of the U.N. agency’s polio unit.
Nigeria is the last African country on that list.
The two remaining countries are Pakistan, which recorded 28 new cases this year, and Afghanistan, with five, said Rosenbauer. It’s a 99 percent reduction since the Global Polio Eradication Initiative began in 1988, when one of the world’s most feared diseases was endemic in 125 countries and was paralyzing nearly 1,000 children every day.
Polio shows up unsuspiciously as a fever and cold, followed quickly by acute paralysis as the virus destroys nerve cells. The disease mainly affects children under 5. The virus invades the body through the mouth and multiplies in the intestine, then is spread through the feces. It is highly contagious with infected but asymptomatic carriers able to spread it silently and swiftly.
That’s why “surveillance takes place in every nook and cranny of this country, even in those areas that have been free for years,” said Rotary’s Funsho.
In Nigeria, where Boko Haram Islamic extremists held a large swath of the northeast for months until March, that means testing sewage and stool samples of refugees from areas too dangerous to access.
The extremists opposed the campaign and Boko Haram gunmen killed nine women vaccinators in northern Kano state in February 2013, but the vaccinations continued.
The milestone has been reached despite the government’s failure to deliver the most basic services: 100 million of Nigeria’s 170 million people defecate in the open, while the percentage with piped water has shrunk from 12 percent in 1990 to 2 percent today, according to U.N. estimates.
Nigeria has been on the brink of recording no new cases before, only to fall back during elections in 2007 and 2011 when money was lavished on political campaigns instead of vaccinations, said Dr. Oyewale Tomori, chairman of the government’s Expert Review Committee on Polio Eradication.
Politicians spent unprecedented amounts on March elections that for the first time ousted a sitting president. But 2015 also brought the government’s biggest commitment of $80 million to fight polio.
Flexible strategy was needed for the campaign to succeed. “Initially there was this wrong approach … we thought we could overcome it with global pressure and scientific information,” Tomori said. “It didn’t work.”
The campaign had to win over religious and community leaders and grass-roots women’s groups, he said.
Nigeria tracks vaccinators through GPS on their cell phones and has emergency operations centers that provide “real-time information,” said Tomori. “If someone refuses vaccination, we know within minutes and can go back and take action. Before, it could take weeks.”
The polio tracking system has additional benefits. It formed the backbone of Nigeria’s successful efforts to fight Ebola.
The WHO will not declare Nigeria out of the woods until 2017.
“It will take another two extra years of no polio to be polio-free and that is why we cannot relax,” said Tomori, who has been fighting polio for 20 years.
He said monitoring, surveillance and vaccinations all must increase to ensure no backsliding: “On no account must we lose focus and take our eye off the polio radar.”
US agency offers training grant to Dangote oil firm
The United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) has signed a $997,447 training grant with Dangote Oil Refining Company to develop critical human capacity resources necessary to successfully operate and maintain the firm’s Greenfield petroleum refinery situated in Lagos.
The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, said during the signing of the grant in Lagos on Thursday that the USTDA grant would fund a multi-year programme to train over 100 employees of the company on refinery fundamentals.
He said that the partnership would facilitate the provision of goods and services required for a training programme in connection with the refinery project. Just over a year ago, with our decision to invest in a $9bn, in 650,000 barrels per day refinery project, we decided to address the paradox of Nigeria being one of the world, largest producers and exporters of crude oil, but yet one of the largest importers of refined petroleum products” he added.
Today, the project has commenced and we expect to be in production by the first quarter of 2018. For such a high-tech investment, getting the right quality of human capital to run the plant is considered to be possibly the most critical success factor for the multi-billion dollar project, he said. He expressed gratitude for the grant, saying the USTDA gesture was consistent with the agency, history of support for infrastructural development in Nigeria.