Amid growing concerns about falling oil prices and the Coronavirus epidemic slowing global stock markets, stakeholders in the Nigerian retail sector have been charged to reposition the sector to offer a buffer against looming economic uncertainties.
Ade Sun-Basorun, Chief Executive Officer, FoodCo Nigeria Limited, made the call in a statement while reacting to recent media reports of a slump in growth projections for the country, currently ranked as Africa’s largest economy.
He said: “The present precarious economic climate emphasizes the need for all stakeholders to collaborate in actualizing government’s efforts at diversifying the economy.
For instance, the retail market segment is currently the third highest contributor to GDP at 16.1 per cent and the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) estimates that it will grow by 20.4 per cent to hit N454b by 2025. The current challenges notwithstanding, it is clear that the sector is critical to driving new growth frontiers for the country particularly if more formalized structures are put in place to optimally harness opportunities within the ecosystem.
“In its current state, the organized consumer goods sector presents a paradoxical situation. While some Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) companies have delivered poor results within the past few years, there have also been notable expansions by some key players, especially within the formal retail space. Looking at the future, there are still ample grounds to be optimistic about opportunities within the sector given the country’s bourgeoning consumer market currently estimated at 52 million, a large middle class, pre-dominant youth population and rapid urbanization. It therefore behooves sector stakeholders to make a critical assessment of inherent potentials across the value chain to chart new channels for growth,” he added.
Continuing, Sun-Basorun noted that: “a well-developed formal retail sector will open up feeder economies for real estate, agriculture, small and medium enterprise as well as logistics. For its part, FoodCo is taking the lead in building capacity within the space through the FoodCo Fellowship, a novel and specialized internship program targeted at grooming MBA and post-graduate students for leadership in retail.”
Founded in 1982, FoodCo is a diversified consumer goods company with interests in retail, quick service restaurants, entertainment and manufacturing. The company operates the largest supermarket chain in south-west Nigeria, outside Lagos.