Industry & Retail

Nigeria Industry & Retail

The industrial sector of what is arguably Africa’s largest economy is a diversified group of producers and outputs. With a wide range of accessible feedstock, from agricultural products to hydrocarbons, along with Africa’s biggest consumer market, the possibilities are substantial. The volume of output is small, however, and Nigeria is forced to import most of what it consumes, including the raw materials and intermediate goods its industries use. Cyclical pressures, along with structural challenges, have contributed to a challenging environment. Yet this has not slowed capital spending, and with a large consumer market the outlook is encouraging for many industrial segments. The retail sector is based on the latent potential of Nigeria’s population, currently estimated at 184m and growing. Firms hoping to cater to that block of consumers must overcome challenges such as finding land to build retail space, importing goods and managing currency risk. The central’s bank decision to change its currency policy is currently the most important factor for the retail sector. Once retailers gain some certainty on that, the next steps will likely be to take stock of balance sheets and capital requirements, then begin the process of utilising current retail capacity at malls.

This chapter contains an interview with Okey Enelamah, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment.