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Open-Air Markets Account for 97% of Nigeria’s Retail Sales

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By Modupe Gbadeyanka

A new report by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) has revealed that the retail sales landscape in Nigeria is dominated by open-air markets despite an increase in supermarkets, convenience stores, and other modern formats.

In the survey, it was disclosed that over 600,000 small shops and open-air markets are in the country’s retail space, accounting for 97 per cent of national sales of food, beverages, and personal care products.

The report The Future of Traditional Retail in Africa showed that African consumers on average continue to buy more than 70 per cent of their food, beverages, and personal care products from the continent’s more than 2.5 million small, independent shops despite the rise in e-commerce and changes in consumer behaviour accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The willingness of traditional retailers to diversify, and embrace digital solutions coupled with the growing interest of investors to provide digital solutions show they will find opportunities to grow and remain the cornerstones of African economies in the future,” said, Stefano Niavas, Managing Partner in BCG Nigeria, and co-author of the report.

The report noted that modern retail remains very fragmented and is led by international hypermarket brands. Modern chains are struggling to expand due to currency devaluation, underdeveloped and inefficient transportation infrastructure, poor logistics capabilities, inadequate electrical power, and other complex challenges.

More importantly, the digital maturity of shop proprietors is also substantially higher than the national average. The level of financial inclusion varies widely across the region and is generally in line with the general population. While 85 per cent of Kenyan shop managers have a bank account, only 40% of their counterparts in Nigeria have one.

High numbers of African retailers also reported that they feel under pressure from modern retailers. In response to such challenges, traditional shops are diversifying well beyond daily essentials, such as fresh and packaged foods and home cleaning and personal hygiene products. Many small retailers now sell telecom products, such as prepaid cards and SIM cards.

New Digital Solutions

Several digital technology providers are addressing inefficient distribution systems that often force retailers to close their shops for several hours so they can go purchase goods from wholesalers.

The Nigerian B2B digital marketplace Alerzo, for example, enables more than 100,000 users—90 per cent of whom are women—to purchase inventory directly from manufacturers, receive and make cashless payments, and better track their revenues.

Digital marketplace in Nigeria such as Alerzo also facilitates a portfolio of digital services, including airtime purchases, bill payments, and peer-to-peer transfers. In the long run, such platforms aim to provide super apps with a large selection of services.

This would enable them to totally digitize traditional retailers and integrate them into the formal economy. Start-ups are also providing working capital and financial management systems to help traditional retailers grow and run their businesses more efficiently; however, they must overcome a lack of awareness and training among retailers.

The Future of Retail in Africa

The study found that traditional retailers will continue to dominate. But to thrive, they must modernize by offering new services and leveraging opportunities offered by digital solutions.

Niavas added, “Based on our analysis, many small retailers are already aware of the evolving retail landscape and are ready to improve their business premises, quality of products and expand across the country.”

Based on current trends, the modern retail sector in Nigeria, even though it is growing fast, is likely to remain small, and still may not account for more than 5 per cent of retail sales by 2030. Due to structural problems in Nigeria mentioned earlier, foreign investors are likely to remain hesitant about entering the market.

Given the central role that traditional shops will continue to play in Africa’s retail landscape, there will be a number of opportunities for various players in the ecosystem as the environment evolves.

Investment funds can find opportunities to provide capital and management expertise that will enable local modern retail chains to scale up in new cities.

An active start-up ecosystem is interested in providing digital solutions that will solidify the role of traditional retail in Africa and enable the sector to become the commercial interface across the continent.

Digital solutions can help manufacturers of fast-moving consumer foods improve their control over go-to-market strategies and provide data to better understand retailers.

Banks and telecom providers can achieve growth by developing new business models and offers that are adapted to traditional retailers’ needs.

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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Economy

I Fully Agree Oil Has Been a Curse to Nigeria—Moghalu

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By Aduragbemi Omiyale

A former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Kingsley Moghalu, has said oil has been a curse to Nigeria.

He said this in reaction to the discovery of oil in the northern part of the country.

On Tuesday, President Muhammadu Buhari flagged off the Kolmani Integrated Development Project in Bauchi, and he said the country attracted $3 billion investment in fossil energy from the project at a time when the oil and gas sector was becoming less attractive.

“It is, therefore, to the credit of this administration that at a time when there is near zero appetites for investment in fossil energy, coupled with the location challenges, we are able to attract investment of over $3 billion to this project,” Mr Buhari said.

The Kolmani Integrated Development Project is a fully integrated in-situ development project comprising upstream production, oil refining, power generation and fertilizer.

The Kolmani River field has huge commercial deposits of hydrocarbons, which the President said is “over one billion barrels of oil reserves and 500 billion cubic feet of gas.”

But Mr Moghalu, who contested to be the President of Nigeria in 2019 under the Young Progressives Party (YPP), believes that the country has not gained anything meaningful from being an oil-producing nation.

Nigeria is one of the leading producers of crude oil in Africa. Most of the foreign exchange (FX) earnings come from the sale of the commodity. However, oil theft and corruption have subjected its citizens to abject poverty, with the government resorting to borrowing to fund its budgets.

“I fully agree with those who say oil has been a curse to Nigeria. Many of them question the ultimate value of the reported Kolmani oil find in Northern Nigeria.

“But I am also practical enough to know three things. First, some countries like Saudi Arabia, Gulf States, and Norway were smart enough to use oil to build their economies but diversified into other means of wealth creation and also built-up savings (reserves/Sovereign Wealth Funds) for the rainy day that have served them well.

“Secondly, the real secret of the wealth of nations does NOT lie in natural resources. It lies in economic complexity – the ability to prioritize technological innovation and use it to manufacture complex products that are value-added and competitively produced and then exported to dominate the world trading system. Singapore, South Korea, Japan, Switzerland and many other of the world’s wealthiest countries have NOTHING of value under their soil but have used this principle to create wealth for their citizens. That’s why they are rich, but we in Nigeria and most other African countries, with our so-called blessing of natural resources, are in a poverty trap.

“We in fact have the resource curse. 70% of the world’s strategic minerals are in Africa, but the continent’s share of world trade is just 3% in 2022.

“The third thing I am practical enough to know is that, as Nigeria is currently led and configured, the dominant mentality of its political leadership is still fixated on natural resources and resource rents. They simply do not share in, & do not care, about the secret of the wealth of nations.

“Their minds still haven’t evolved to that knowledge or, more accurately, the political will to de-emphasize natural resource thinking and shift to real wealth creation,” the respected economist said in a series of tweets via his verified Twitter handle, @MoghaluKingsley.

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Economy

Index Rises 2.04% on Interest Airtel Africa, MTN Nigeria Shares

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By Dipo Olowookere

It was another positive outing for the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited on Friday as it closed higher by 2.04 per cent on the back of buying interest in Airtel Africa, MTN Nigeria and 16 others.

The sustained upward movement was buoyed yesterday by the 1.10 per cent growth posted by the insurance sector, the 0.26 per cent improvement in the industrial goods space, and the 0.25 per cent rise in the banking counter.

The trio offset the 2.37 per cent loss printed by the consumer goods counter, as the energy index closed flat when trading activities were brought to an end at 2:30 pm.

Consequently, the All-Share Index (ASI) closed higher by 949.40 points to 47,554.34 points from 46,604.94 points, as the market capitalisation grew by N517 billion to settle at N25.902 trillion compared with Thursday’s closing value of N25.385 trillion.

The stock market was quiet on Friday as the most active stock, FCMB, only traded 16.8 million units, while MTN Nigeria sold 16.4 million units. Fidelity Bank traded 7.5 million shares, Zenith Bank exchanged 6.4 million equities, and Access Holdings transacted 5.8 million equities.

From an analysis of the activity chart, a total of 99.0 million stocks worth N5.5 billion were traded by investors yesterday in 2,780 deals compared with the 138.6 million stocks worth N2.2 billion traded in 3,434 deals, indicating an increase in the trading value of 154.41 per cent, a decline in the number of deals by 19.04 deals and a drop in the trading volume by 28.58 per cent.

Red Star Express ended the day on top of the gainers’ chart after its value rose by 9.66 per cent to N2.27, Regency Assurance appreciated by 8.70 per cent to 25 Kobo, Livestock Feeds grew by 8.16 per cent to N1.06, Prestige Assurance expanded by 7.50 per cent to 43 Kobo, and Airtel Africa improved by 7.41 per cent to N1,450.00.

Conversely, Capital Hotel topped the losers’ log yesterday after it went down by 10.00 per cent to N3.06, Nestle Nigeria fell by 10.00 per cent to N963.90, International Breweries drained by 2.27 per cent to N4.30, GTCO lost 1.48 per cent to N20.00, and Wema Bank depreciated by 0.97 per cent to N3.07.

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Economy

Naira Gains at P2P, Weakens at I&E

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By Adedapo Adesanya

The Naira closed stronger against the United States Dollar at the Peer-to-Peer (P2P) window of the foreign exchange (FX) market on the last trading session of the week by N1 to sell at N786/$1 compared with the previous day’s exchange rate of N787/$1.

Similarly, in the black market, the Naira appreciated against the American Dollar by N2 to trade at N775/$1 yesterday, in contrast to the N777/$1 it closed on Thursday.

However, in the Investors and Exporters (I&E) segment of the forex market, the domestic currency depreciated against its US counterpart by 0.3 per cent or N1.33 to settle at N446.33/$1 compared with the preceding session’s N445/$1.

Data from FMDQ Securities Exchange indicated that the FX turnover at the I&E window on Friday was $117.26 million, lower than the $145.89 million reported a day earlier by $28.63 million or 19.6 per cent.

In the interbank segment, the Nigerian Naira closed flat against the Pound Sterling and the Euro yesterday at N526.97/£1 or N455.56/€1, respectively.

Meanwhile, in the cryptocurrency market, there were recoveries as a majority of the 10 cryptos tracked by Business Post pointed north, with Dogecoin (DOGE) surging by 14.6 per cent to trade at $0.093.

This happened as the crypto market is still reeling after a brutal month, with investor confidence shattered following news that FTX, once one of the biggest and most popular crypto exchanges, went bust.

Binance Coin (BNB) recorded a 5.5 per cent appreciation to trade at $311.11, Ethereum (ETH) saw its value go up by 3.8 per cent to sell at $1,220.31, Cardano (ADA) recorded a 2.9 per cent rise to quote at $0.319, and Solana (SOL) appreciated by 2.8 per cent to trade at $14.41.

Further, Ripple (XRP) recorded a 2.4 per cent gain to settle at $0.4079, Bitcoin (BTC) made a 1.4 per cent improvement to sell at $16,626.37, Litecoin (LTC) jumped by 1.3 per cent to trade at $77.20.

But the US Dollar Tether (USDT) and Binance USD (BUSD) remained unchanged at $0.9995 and $1.00 apiece.

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