WHY NOW IS THE BEST TIME TO INVEST IN NIGERIAWhy Now is the Best Time to Invest in NIGERIA

WHY NOW IS THE BEST TIME TO INVEST IN NIGERIA

 Why Now is the Best Time to Invest in NIGERIA Nigeria is one of the best countries to invest in the world. This is not some new information. It has

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 Why Now is the Best Time to Invest in NIGERIA

Nigeria is one of the best countries to invest in the world. This is not some new information. It has always been.

The Americans know it.

The Europeans know it.

The Indians know it.

The Chinese know it and they are all coming here.

They have a knack to see opportunity. Unfortunately, in the same land of opportunity – that attracts people for the farthest parts of the earth – the citizens of thereof are mostly blind like bats.

In the last 8 months, I have interacted with several Chinese businessmen and from my interactions with the Chinese; I realized that they see limitless opportunities in Nigeria in the villages and cities alike and they are coming here more than ever. They know why now is the best time to invest in NIGERIA?

 

Come in close. Closer. Because the more you think you see, the easier it’ll be to fool you. Because what is seeing? You’re looking, but what you’re really doing is filtering, interpreting, searching for meaning. My job? To take that most precious of gifts you give me – your attention – and use it against you.

              – Daniel “Danny” Atlas, Now You See Me (2013)

 

It’s like life itself is speaking those words to any who dare to aspire for more – for better – challenging you with the possibility of how bad it can get. With that kind of fear crawling through your mind it is difficult to look beyond the unpopular façade of an economy in trouble and see what precious opportunities are presenting themselves as the New Year takes hold.

Yes, you need to look closer; but before that you want to take a step back first – back from the maze of distractions made up of skyrocketing prices and doomsday headlines that would intimidate even the most determined prospective investor; back from a cripplingly contagious fear that could infect you when others give words to deep-seated concerns; back from the intuitive tendency to curl back into your shell and sit out an economic apocalypse that a nation is struggling to climb out of.

First of all you need to observe the big picture and then ask yourself what is “Truth” about Nigeria’s current situation. I’ll make it easy for you:

 

  1. Why Now is the Best Time to Invest in NIGERIA? – Nigeria is the 6th most populous nation in the world.

With almost 200 million people currently living in Nigeria – and growing – the potential for gains is tremendous if one is able to package a product that the people are willing to spend money on.

No matter how bad things look, if you have a product out there that charges just N1 (one naira) per transaction, and you are able to get, say, a tenth (10%) of the population of the country to buy into it, that would be 10 million people or thereabouts who could be spending N1 each to purchase your product. That automatically makes you a millionaire right there.

Say you’re able to create a product that generates repeat business, like sms messaging, for instance, or water… within days you could be smiling all the way to the bank.

But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves right now, shall we?

 

  1. Why Now is the Best Time to Invest in NIGERIA? Nigerians want to spend

If you didn’t know this before, take it as gospel truth – Nigerians want to spend money; they like to. They do. Once you give Nigerians something to believe enough in, they’ll spend the money. According to online statistics portal Statista, Nigeria alone will likely gain more than 2 million new smartphone users in 2016 alone – 2.3 million to be precise.

This is significant because Nigeria is a country in which a recession has been extensively reported on for the greater part of the past year, whereas the value of the Nigerian Naira has tanked significantly against the dollar from as low as N160 to the dollar in mid-2015 to even more than N500 per dollar in black markets at one instance in 2016. With a pointedly compromised purchasing power parity (PPP), and more than 13.2 million users by the end of 2015, a rise to 15.5 million indicates that Nigerian appetites have not been dimmed by the onerous fiscal conditions in the country.

There’s more – stuff you probably already know. February 2016, Nigerian Senator Binta Masi, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Tertiary Institutions and Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) interestingly declared that Nigerians currently spend in excess of $2bn capital flight on education abroad annually. This statement was made to the Nigeria Research and Education Network (NgREN), a tremendous amount of green in a country with an allegedly challenged economic situation.

When this kind of information is thrown in with the rate at which cars, trinket, couture, luxury items, and even edibles – yes, edibles – are imported into the country, it becomes impossible to deny the obvious – Nigerians want to spend, and given the opportunity to do so, they will.

I was blown away by how many Nigerians still throw in their lot with the hundreds of Ponzi schemes that offered unsustainable ROIs despite the recession and  several warnings the federal government and some concerned financial institutions.

For an investor looking to capitalize, you could get imaginative enough to be the one who presents that opportunity to spend, and it could just as well be on luxury items as it could be on consumables.

 

  1. Why Now is the Best Time to Invest in NIGERIA? You shouldn’t believe everything you read

That’s a no-brainer right there, but how real is this statement to you? Just another popular adage? Think carefully about it – the headlines have been brutal concerning the situation on ground. Both the local and foreign press have had their field day peddling truths and half-truths to as many as would care to read; and appearances lend uncomfortable reality to already unpleasant sets of circumstances on ground around a reeling nation.

  • Nigeria faces recession risk as GDP shrinks (Bloomberg News, 19 May 2016)
  • Nigeria slumps into recession (CNN-Money, 30 August 2016)
  • Nigerian Economy Slips into Recession (BBC News, 31 August 2016)
  • Nigeria remains in recession (BusinessInsider, 20 November 2016)
  • As Nigeria’s recession takes hold, Buhari’s shine wanes (Yahoo News, 27 November 2016)
  • Nigeria famine risk rising (Reuters, 16 December 2016)

And then there have been the extensive news on the Boko Haram situation northeast of the country. These are not lies – they are actually all true; but they are headlines by news agencies seeking to grab your interest, remain relevant, and make money in the process. Not everything is being reported. This is why you need to take a step back from all the brouhaha so that you can see the big picture and know exactly where and how to place your investment.
consider these very true realities:

Although much has been made of its status as a major exporter of oil, oil only contributes about 9% to the GDP. Nigeria produces only about 2.7% of the world’s oil supply (In comparison, Saudi Arabia produces 12.9%, Russia produces 12.7% and the United States produces 8.6%). Although the petroleum sector is important, as Government revenues still heavily rely on this sector, it remains in fact a small part of the country’s overall vibrant and diversified economy.

    • Nigeria’s mixed economy produces a huge share of West Africa’s services and consumable goods. More, the nation’s emerging market continually expands in industry, finance, communications technology, as well as in entertainment year in and out. All of these contribute to enforcing Nigeria’s ranking as the 20th largest economy in the world with respect to purchasing power parity (PPP) in addition to being the largest economy in Africa, according to the KPMG 2015 Manufacturing Sector Report.

 

    • Significant reforms are currently underway in Nigeria’s energy, services, tourism, and other noteworthy sectors which can only contribute positively to the downline in the long run. GDP grew notably from $170 billion in 2000 to more than $45o billion in 2012, a stunning 300% appreciation. It slowed in the past year due to the overly stated recession but the numbers are still impressive enough to keep foreign investors flocking in. The process of developing these sectors after decades of documented mismanagement is somewhat slow and painstaking, but with the people becoming more enlightened and empowered, it is only likely to pick up pace in the near future.

 

According to this BusinessInsider.com article, GDP in Nigeria is expected by multinational investment banking corporation Citigroup Inc. to maintain the highest growth average in the world through the year 2050. Now even though the economy growth rate dropped in 2016 by about 2.1%, the economists still expect the overall average to carry through and approximate projections.

This isn’t just talk. There’s a reason so many multinationals have refused to pack up their businesses and leave the country despite the challenges experienced in the past year. There’s a reason young’un Mark Zuckerberg, 5th richest individual in the world and Time Person of the Year 2016, stopped by the world’s largest black nation August of 2016. It’s because he’s exploring the potential of bringing new business here for the selfsame primary reasons you have been reading about – nobody can, or should, turn their back on 200 million people worth of potential business.

 

  1. Why Now is the Best Time to Invest in NIGERIA? A girl’s gotta eat

I love me that line by from Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight Rises”. Basically she was saying, no matter how bad things look, I still have to find a way to eat and stay alive. That’s as true for Nigeria as it is for any other human population.

With tomatoes selling at an all-time high halfway through 2016, unconfirmed reports of harvested farm produce being smuggled across the border into neighboring countries in the north in order to gain more profit, and talk of cooked and packaged foods from Asia being intercepted at the point of entry into the country, one begins to get the picture – there is indeed a possibility of a bigger market in Nigeria in 2017 and beyond.

Two things you need to bear in mind – those mostly affected by this state of affairs are internally displaced persons (IDPs) largely in the northeasterly Borno State where the Boko Haram conflict has raged the worst for the past few years. The second thing to note is that the condition is also contributed to by disrupted crop production, which incidentally does not stem from an incapacity of the nation to produce crops.

What I am saying is, whereas Nigeria has depended in a significant way on crops imported or grown in the north, this does not result from the land being infertile. Rather it is from the fact that a large swath of the population is migrating away from rural regions into urban cities, seeking fast money and instant gratification. Someone who is patient and painstaking can surely turn this state of affairs into their own favor, wouldn’t you say?

For the most part, Nigeria and Nigerians have practiced subsistence agriculture which has failed to keep up with the rate at which the population of the nation has grown. Someone investing in agriculture at this time stands to make some serious headway in the near and distant future. That person could be you, especially considering that mechanization and technology for farming and agriculture is growing at a rapid rate in the country at this time.

 

Finally…

It was Peter Lynch who said “When you get recessions, you have stock market declines. If you don’t understand that’s going to happen, then you’re not ready, you won’t do well in the markets.” Basically he was trying to explain that when there is a recession, it is not really a time to change the course of what you are doing, but a time to dig in and stay the course. What goes around comes around, and a nation’s economy is no different. Even though a market slows down it is totally still going to pick up – you only have to ensure that you’re a part of that recovery when it happens.

Why now is the best time to invest in Nigeria? You know the popular saying, the best time to invest is when the market it down. You have taken a backward step with me away from the excitement and confusion in order to be able to see more clearly. With the information you have now you should just be able to position yourself cleverly to make the most out of Mother Nigeria as she is today.

Now come in close. Closer. Look, filter, interpret, make a meaning of all of it. My job? To take that most precious of gifts you give me – your attention – and use it to inform you…

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