Prospective investors planning to invest in Nigeria in the short term must have a rethink as such investment may not bode well for them.
This is the submission of Eben Joels, Chartered Accountant and Chartered Management Accountant and United States-based Nigerian.
According to Akinyemi, who specialises on visioning and business mapping services, as well as specialist knowledge brokerage for growing businesses, “In a country like Nigeria, you need to have a long term commitment to the country to make the investment you need to nurture a chain. The patience you need to cultivate the market is not for the average investor who is guided only by the numbers and the immediate prognosis.”
Akinyemi, who has led several teams to provide strategic tax and transactions advisory services to various companies undergoing major business restructuring in Nigeria, spoke against the backdrop of the recent plans by popular retail brand, Shoprite to exit Nigeria.
“If Shoprite successfully transits the business into the franchise model it operates in other countries, then it means that they will need to commit management resources to maintain their brand equity- if that means anything to them in a market they want to wholly exit. Nigeria’s Customs and Excise Laws, and other regulations, and the culture of stealing by those in governance mean that a successful retail chain in Nigeria can only grow in tandem with reforms in our doing business laws.”
While noting that Shoprite is adept at making acquisitions and also knows when the party is over given the fact that they played with their own cash in Nigeria for 14 years, building a supply chain, battling the Nigerian Customs and the police and other tax collection thugs, the current realities hardly suit the business model.
“This period of an increasing squeeze on Nigerians by everything from Covid-19 to daily killings in the North, to a weakening Naira, perhaps they think it’s best to remove their money. They may leave the shell for Nigerians to put in their own cash and operate but I doubt if it will ever be the same.”