Nigerian retail operators have been advised to reposition their business to harness growth opportunities in the sector.
Chief Executive Officer of FoodCo Nigeria Limited, Ade Sun-Basorun, gave the advice amid the falling oil price and coronavirus pandemic that are presently threatening the global economy.
According to him, while the International Monetary Fund (IMF), has downgraded the country’s growth projections, the retail sector appeared to be a shield for the national economy, hence, all hands must be on deck.
He said: “The present precarious economic climate emphasises the need for all stakeholders to collaborate in actualising government’s efforts at diversifying the economy. For instance, the retail market segment is currently the third highest contributor to Gross Domestic Product, 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 formalised structures are put in place to optimally harness opportunities within the ecosystem.
“In its current state, the organised 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.
“Also to consider is the large middle class, pre-dominant youth population and rapid urbanisation. It therefore behoves sector stakeholders to make a critical assessment of inherent potentials across the value chain to chart new channels for growth,” he added.
The retail expert noted further that developing the formal retail sector will open up feeder economies for real estate, agriculture, small and medium enterprise as well as logistics.
He informed that FoodCo is taking the lead in building capacity within the space through its
FoodCo Fellowship initiative, a novel and specialised internship program targeted at grooming MBA and post-graduate students for leadership in retail.