[Nigeria Business Week] Andrea Ayemoba: Come dry season, food production and supply chain gain emphasis
As we have established time and again, fertile lands and an able, skilled workforce are a vital combination for a thriving agricultural sector. Nigeria is endowed with productive lands; all it needs is the right structures in place to make the best use of it, and governments and entrepreneurs alike are throwing their weight behind this purpose. The Flour Mills of Nigeria has this week commenced a campaign to maximize food production in the country. A significant amount in excess of N46bn has been generated by farmers and entrepreneurs with a similar goal – transforming the Agricultural process in Nigeria.
The Central Bank also took a step forward in this direction, offering thousands of northern farmers an aid worth billions of naira to get through the dry farming season.
Banks, as always, have made headlines this week; Sterling Bank got the CBN approval to restructure a holding company. FirstBank of Nigeria experienced a profit decline for the first 9 months of 2021, but showed profitability in its e-businesses operations. Together with UBA and Access Bank, FBN recorded the highest electronic business income the year so far.
In an unforeseen development in the ICT sector, Nigerian data center, MainOne got acquired by a US firm in a $320mn deal.
Insurance is a fast-growing industry, gaining more and more attention and investment, both national and international. While insurance companies are generally doing well, some showing annual profits in the billions, a major concern is the poor coverage available to entrepreneurs. To this end, some leading insurers this week partnered with Tony Elumelu for the benefit of business owners in the country.
Other indices indicate double-side trend across sectors; petrol imports are on the rise, digitization has been identified as a key element in transportation and shipping and the International Finance Corporation has teamed with venture capitalists to support the retail supply chain.
Job satisfaction has been reported to be low among women in Nigeria, but the current trend of work-from-home is likely to improve that status quo. As it stands, Nigeria’s global ranking in e-business suggests that much has been achieved in the digitization campaign, and if the current pace is maintained, much more can be expected in efficient business practices industry wide.