Global brands position for stakes in the Nigerian market

“While Nigeria cannot be described as a global tourism destination, it is undoubtedly popular with top foreign executives eager to get a grasp of the country’s up-and -coming economy.”

Above statement were part of the views expressed by the country Marketing Director of Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company, Nigeria, Patrick Tyler, in his LinkedIn post recently, acknowledging the fact that the Nigeria market appears to have some unique potentials to offer top global corporations whose Chief Executive Officers have been on pilgrimage to the country in recent times.

Speaking further, the expatriate who recently got posted to Nigeria disclosed that “James Quincey (Coca-Cola CEO) and Jack Dorsey (Twitter CEO) were in Lagos last week while Jack Ma (Alibaba ex CEO) has been in Abuja currently.

Raising a poser, Tyler said: “How much can be achieved on these flying visits is a question mark, but they do illustrate the growing importance Nigeria and its incredibly young population of 200+ million play on the continent for many large corporations.”

Indeed, the latest narrative could not have been better illuminated as presented and succinctly captured by the recent report of the World Bank which categorised Nigeria as having improved on the ease of doing business ranking.

According to World Bank, “Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, improved its ranking on the latest World Bank ease of doing business index”.

The country now ranks 131 on the World Bank’s Doing Business 2020 index: The West African nation moved up 15 places from its 2019 spot and has been tagged as one of the most improved economies in the world for running business.

The index ranking which is a yearly review that assesses the business environment in 190 countries using various indicators, including paying taxes, trading across borders, starting a business and protecting minority investors.

There is no doubt the fact that the recent visitations by global chieftains of corporations and multinationals would definitely fetch Nigeria increased direct foreign investments as these global economic players were not in the country for mere tourism but for genuine economic purposes and objectives.

Speaking when he met with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, Jack Ma who led a team of investors said the essence of his visit was to understand Africa more. One of the richest men in Asia said he had been looking forward to visiting the country.

“I think our team today realised our dreams meeting you. We flew 15 hours into Nigeria and we are excited. This trip is to try to understand Africa more. We came to Africa four years ago and our plan is to visit four or five countries in every trip,” Ma said.

Besides, he noted: “My personal target is to try and visit every country in Africa in 10years and support Africa. Nigeria is a great country with a large population, very strong economy and excellent young people with excellent innovations. In fact, this is a country.”

He added: “We also want to help through four Es in Africa. The first E list is E-infrastructure-support internet connections to everybody. We hope that every young person, every small business should have access to the internet to do business anywhere, anytime.”

The vice-president thanked Ma for honouring the invitation he extended to him to visit Nigeria when they met at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Cologny-Geneva, Switzerland.

He said Nigeria represented incredible opportunity and potential as it would, in another two decades, become the third largest in terms of population in the world.

Osinbajo said the Alibaba group had achieved a lot in broadening the scope of business and activities for people everywhere.

“If there is anything you have achieved, for the politician, we say you have democratised business.

“It is a great achievement. I think it is something we will like to learn from and benefit from, especially as we open up government businesses and transactions and make them more efficient for the use of our people,” Osinbajo said.

He continued: “This is an exciting time for us and we are very happy that you are here. A lot of businesses and entrepreneurs are looking forward to your interacting with them later today.

“I think you will find a very energetic, very creative group of young men and women and old men and women who are increasingly getting interested in entrepreneurship, especially digital entrepreneurship. I am happy to see that you have a good group of businesses from China.”

Recall that two years ago, Facebook Chief Executive Officer, Mark Zuckerberg had  during his first trip to Sub-Saharan Africa made a surprise visit to Nigeria, using the opportunity to meet with developers and entrepreneurs and also learning about start-up ecosystem in the country. He remarked then that the energy of the citizens in the country was amazing and was excited to learn as much as he could.

His words: “Our first stop is the Co-Creation Hub Nigeria (CCHUB) in Yaba. I got to talk to kids at a Summer Coding Camp and entrepreneurs who come to CCHUB to build and launch their apps. I am looking forward to meeting more people here.”

Ever since, more investors have visited with a view to setting up new investments in the country.


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