By Sunday Aikulola
The Founder, Centre for Value Leadership (CVL), Prof. Pat Utomi, has disclosed that Nigeria’s current retail consumption is estimated at $388 billion annually and could rise to $1.4 trillion by 2030.
Speaking during the fourth CVL Economic Growth Sector Celebration Series, he noted that “retail trade growth in Nigeria is fuelled by increase in the size of the Nigerian population. More than 80 million of Nigeria’s 170 million citizens live in or close to urban areas, increasing disposable incomes of the growing middle class population and the drive by the government to modernise retailing.”
With the theme: “Unlocking the potentials of Retail Trade Industry in Nigeria,” he further stated that bringing the goods needed by families and the men and women of the modern era to their awareness and easy reach at affordable prices is part of the miracle of the modern retail trade. That magic has progressively shifted from analogue to digital.
The Consultant, Franchise Business Development Services, Chigozie Nwizu, listed some importance of franchise to retail to include: reducing risks of failure, access to propriety, products or services; bulk buying advantages; industry know how; shared marketing, advertising and launch campaign costs.
The Managing Director, Proshare Nigeria, Femi Awoyemi, who spoke on “Financing Retail Trade in Nigeria”, noted that everyone must accept the limitations of our financial markets and help them create new appreciation for the retail trade ecosystem. This posits that all growth will be reflected in the commerce that takes place; work with companies, that is, manufacturers to design effective credit schemes that ameliorate the limitation of owner capital.
Also, the Executive Director, World Trade Centre Lagos, John Adeleke, who spoke on the ‘significance of the rebirth of Nigeria’s formal retail sector’ said the federal government and its agencies must support the emergence of the formal retail sector with a better harmonised policy and regulatory regimen.
Similarly, the Group Managing Director, Artee Group, Haresh Keswani, who discussed ‘Retail Revolution – An opportunity’, said retailing is the major mass employment driver for Nigeria with the lowest barrier to employment for youths.
He noted that one shopping plaza employs around 8,000 people directly or indirectly; and retail revolution has the capability to make Nigeria self-sufficient with an effective and efficient workforce and can propel Nigeria towards an export oriented economy.
On his part, the President, Retail Council of Nigeria, Asiwaju Solomon Onafowokan, said government should review restrictions on banned products that are not manufactured in Nigeria, and urged it to encourage Local Direct Investment in order to get the benefits of Foreign Direct Investment.
Some of the companies that were honoured included: Ikeja City Mall, Jumia, Spar, Shoprite, Ebeano, Chellarams, GT Bank, Adiba, National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Persianas Group, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, and Lagos State Government.
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