Through the years, Michael Chudi Ejekam has had a hand in the development of several malls throughout Nigeria and Africa as a whole. These retail spaces aren’t just a sign of a growing economy, or even of improving lifestyles for people. For Nigeria’s unemployed young workers, they may be a sign of hope. This Michael Chudi Ejekam blog explores the unemployment issue in Nigeria and how retail just might be a key piece in solving it.
A “Society in Danger of Destruction”
Not too long ago, the president and CEO of Dangote Group in Nigeria used that phrase to describe the difficult employment situation. Aliko Dangote spoke out about the dangers associated with unemployment in a 2015 editorial, which served as an open letter to the Buhari administration. Referring to youth unemployment (up to age 34) as “the monster that has kept our teeming youths on the fringes of human existence,” he called for the administration to “slay” it. “Our entire society is in danger of destruction unless we pay attention to this huge segment of our young and jobless global population,” he added. Around that time, youth unemployment rested around 50%, an astounding level that no doubt contributed to countless other issues throughout the country.
Retail Could Help Break the Cycle
Naturally, as the population grows, so, too, does the unemployment rate. The good news is, retail could play a key role in reducing youth unemployment throughout the country. Broll Nigeria recently held a roundtable discussion called “Retail Industry: 10 Years from Now,” and the industry experts concluded that retail could be the biggest employer of youths in the coming years. Bolaji Edu, CEO of Broll Nigeria, offered further insights into the industry. “Despite a challenging environment,” he said, “Nigeria still holds promise for investors who are willing to take a long-term approach on investments.” However, the government will play a large role in whether retail continues to expand and create jobs. “The outlook for the retail sector is largely dependent on economic reforms as well as the lifting of foreign exchange restrictions,” Edu added.
So, although retail may not be a magic bullet that slays the beast, it very much could be with the right governmental procedures and policies in place. This would not only impact the Nigerian youths of today but will build for a better future for the country overall.
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Chu’di Ejekam — Successful Track Record in Nigeria
Mr. Chu’di Ejekam played a key role in the “retail revolution.” As the Director of Real Estate for West Africa of Actis, the most active retail developer in sub-Saharan Africa, he took part in the development of many major retail malls in Nigeria, Ghana, and broader West Africa, as well as the first green certified building in all of Nigeria. Overall, he originated more than $750 million in retail projects, and his knowledge and background led to the success of countless ventures.
Today, Mr. Chu’di Ejekam remains in Lagos, Nigeria, and is poised to continue developing and bolstering the local economy. As the retail climate in West Africa continues to change, his expertise and experience will no doubt prove invaluable.
Chu’di Ejekam — Innovative Ideas and In-Depth Knowledge
As an honors graduate of the prestigious Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, Mr. Chu’di Ejekam has a firm background in the industry. His Ivy League education has helped him throughout his career. First, while working as a Wall Street investment banker at Merrill lynch, and then later, while working for an American private real estate investment and development firm with interests in $2 billion of real estate assets. These experiences combined made him the ideal choice as the Director Real Estate for West Africa for Actis. For seven years, he served the $7.5 billion private equity firm, while it was the most active retail developer in sub-Saharan Africa. He provided the company with the necessary insights on demographics, potential challenges, and factors of success, enabling the company to take part in the creation of Lagos, Nigeria’s first certified green commercial building and several retail shopping malls throughout the region. Overall, he originated more than $700 million in retail projects with the firm, including Ikeja City Mall Lagos, Jabi Lake Mall Abuja, and Accra Mall, among others. The expansive list contains the largest retail malls in all of Ghana, Nigeria, and broader West Africa.
Chu’di Ejekam — Leading Expert in the Industry
These successes have put Mr. Chu’di Ejekam in high demand with the media when they need to gain insight into a trend or the real estate market. He’s commonly interviewed by journalists and is also consulted by some of the industry’s most notable agencies and firms. His expertise spans the whole breadth of real estate, though commercial real estate in the retail sector is certainly his strong suit and passion. Moreover, he has a proven track record of full cycle retail investment and development. Know more about Michael Chu’di Ejekam and his upcoming projects visit: https://www.facebook.com/public/Michael-Chudi-Ejekam
Michael Chudi Ejekam is an expert in Nigerian retail, investing, and commercial real estate. Presently, the growth of the retail revolution has slowed some, but it is still a very strong sector that is absolutely primed to take the country to the next level in the coming years. The Michael Chudi Ejekam Blog has gathered seven interesting facts about the market that sets Nigeria apart from the rest of the world. Take a look; you’re bound to see some new information.
Facts About How Nigerians Shop
Nigeria is poised for growth where supermarkets are concerned. In Kenya, around 30% of the population has shifted to formal retail supermarkets and around 60% of South Africans have as well. In Nigeria, just 2% of the population makes use of supermarkets, which likely has more to do with limited options and accessibility than anything else.
Nigerians with Internet access like the convenience of shopping online. In a study performed by PayPal, 90% of people used the net to shop in Nigeria, compared to 60% in Kenya and 70% in South Africa. Experts say that brick-and-mortar retailers can boost sales by commingling their options and by offering point-of-sales devices and customer-driven kiosks on-location.
Facts About Nigerian Consumers
Consumers feel optimistic about their futures- more so than those in other countries. Almost three-quarters of people surveyed say their finances will be much better off in as little as two years. When consumers in other markets were asked the same question, just 66% of South Africans agreed. Only 52% of Kenyans could say the same.
Consumers are both brand and budget-conscious. One of the biggest factors for consumers in the region when considering what to purchase is still the cost. A whopping 37% prioritize this over everything else. The second major factor is quality, with 31% saying they will go for a brand that they believe to be high-quality, often choosing the same option again and again because it’s trustworthy.
Facts About the Market
Nigeria is ranked one of the top countries in Africa for consumer demand potential. The country trailed close behind South Africa and Mauritius, topping Morocco by one slot and Kenya by 12.
The market lacks brand diversity. One of the biggest needs uncovered by research is that very few brands are available and the majority of Nigerians are willing to try new products if they’re high-quality and have a good reputation.
Retail and wholesale make up a large portion of the GDP. The market presently accounts for 16.4% of the GDP and with urbanization and the population growing, is expected to continue to be a solid investment opportunity.
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