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Nigerian Retail & Consumer Landscape May Never be the Same Again

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COVID 19 Safe Shopping

48% of Nigerians Feel COVID-19 has had a sizeable impact on their lives

As Nigerian consumers emerge from a restricted living scenario unlike any they have experienced before, there are already big shifts in their consumption dynamics with some behaviours set to never return. This insight stems from Nielsen research which reveals that 48% of Nigerians feel the pandemic has had a sizeable impact on their lives amidst the COVID-19 pandemic

Nielsen Consumer Insights Lead for West Africa, Abiodun Olawale-Cole comments; “The reality is that the consumer emerging from lockdown is a changed consumer, facing the reality of juggling work and home against the backdrop of a fundamentally altered world, severely constrained finances and a hyper vigilance on health and safety.

“The past few weeks have also seen a significant shift to a homebound mindset where health and safety is a number one priority with a resultant desire to shop from home (online) or close to home. These changes have been exacerbated by restricted shopping in some areas and constraints like supply shortages and delivery/fulfilment challenges.”

A Nielsen Consumer Insights survey shows that this has resulted in fundamentally altered shopping habits with 71% Nigerians shopping less in malls, 70% reducing shopping in hypermarkets and supermarkets and 58% shopping less at tabletops. In addition, 39% of Nigerians say they are shopping more online for food and beverage products.

With a strong shift to home based lifestyle, unsurprisingly 74% of Nigerians also said they are eating out less and more than half claim to now eat more at home, They are also seeking safer banking options with 62% using ATMs less and 51% say they are banking online more.

Product performance

Against this backdrop, there have been significant movements in product selection during lockdown. Essentials such as sanitation & safety products such as hand care, household cleaners  and health products/supplements showed good growth as did staples such as pasta, noodles, and coffee.

Nielsen Nigeria MD, Ged Nooy explains; “Consumers are juggling their category basket to cope with the current times. They have learnt to appreciate essentials with the aim of maintaining pantry reserves to ensure an uninterrupted supply and have also gravitated towards simplified product repertoire.”

However, perhaps unsurprisingly, during the same timeframe non-essentials such as soft drinks, candies and biscuits saw steep declines and consumer purchases also shifted away from laundry and self-care. This may be due to the fact that as consumers experienced more financial constraints they have forgone certain groceries and discretionary purchase.

Scenario planning

Looking to the future, as Nigeria transitions into ‘post lockdown’ living Nielsen has created various consumer scenarios that could play out over the next 12-18 months.

Nooy explains; “One of the scenarios we have identified is a ‘Mixed Scenario’, which applies to Nigeria where we are starting to relax certain restrictions in order to reactivate business, while maintaining or implementing additional precautionary measures to guard against further spread of the virus.

“This will create conditions that we have never seen before with consumers who are increasingly concerned about the presence of the virus and catching it. They are also focused on the origin and transparency of products which will see a growth in locally produced and sourced goods.

“Demand for these offerings will also be driven by long term shortages of imported products and their resultant higher price points, which may well further strengthen preference for locally produced products and ensure long-term loyalty.”

Nooy adds that as FMCG manufacturers and retailers reflect, rebuild and reconsider the orientation of their businesses and brands for the future, they will need to predicate their ecosystems and strategies upon a deep understanding of what economies and consumers have endured and how they will emerge.

“The key to success will be anticipating how these lifestyle changes will drive new consumer needs and mindsets and as a result, businesses will need to carefully (re)consider and plan for how to solve and adapt to the future conditions through new and unfolding patterns.”

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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ASUU Expects to Call Off Strike Today as More Universities Accept FG’s Offer

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The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is expected to call off the ongoing strike later today or tomorrow following reports that most universities under the union have accepted government’s offer.

Last week, the government exempts ASUU from the controversial Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) and offered to raise Earned Academic Allowance (EAA) from N30 billion to N35 billion and the revitalisation fund from N20 billion to N25 billion.

Therefore, the Federal Government offered the union a total sum of N65 billion and IPPIS exemption to call of the strike.

While some universities like the Ahmadu Bello University Branch had accepted the offer and insisted payment should be made before the union call of the strike, the Federal University of Agriculture Makurdi (UAM) ASUU voted to continue with the strike until government implements what was offered during the negotiation.

Ezekiel Agbalagba, the Chairman of ASUU at the Federal University of Petroleum Resources (FUPRE), Delta State, said the congress accepted the EAA offer but rejected the N25 billion for the revitalisation of the universities.

However, Nigerians expect the union to call of the strike today or tomorrow after today’s meeting between the Federal Government and ASUU.

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Staff Assured of Job Security After Dissolution of LAUTECH Joint Ownership

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After the dissolution of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) by the National University Commission (NUC), the staffs of the institutions have been assured of job Security by Osun State Government “indigenes of Oyo and Osun State working in either of the two entities will retain all their rights and obligations stipulated in their letters of engagement.”

On Saturday Mrs. Funke Egbemonde, Osun State Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation disclosed in a statement she made available to the media that, “Osun Students will not be subjected to fees or admission differentials. They will pay the same tuition fees as their Oyo counterparts”.

She said, “Government of Osun wishes to assure its citizens that the dissolution of its joint ownership of LAUTECH, following new terms of management spelled out by the National University Commission (NUC), is in no way skewed against the state.

“All workers of Osun extraction either in the College of Health Sciences and LAUTECH ceded to Osun or those in Ogbomoso are assured of job security. There will be no intimidation or discrimination against them in the discharge of their duties.

“The agreement states that indigenes of Oyo and Osun State working in either of the two entities will retain all their rights and obligations stipulated in their letters of engagements, therefore the State Government of Osun wishes to inform citizens that there is no need to fret about the dissolution, as all workers of Osun extraction are assured of the security of their jobs.

“Both Osun and Oyo states have mutually agreed that the joint ownership of LAUTECH be formally dissolved following extensive mediation by the National Universities Commission (NUC), on the need to restore tranquillity and conducive learning environment in both institutions. The decision became necessary as a result of governance and management challenges”.

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Sanwo-olu Was Misinformed; Nobody Died At The Toll Gate – Brig.-Gen Taiwo

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During the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Enquiry and Restitution for Victims of SARS abuse and other related matters on Saturday, Brig. Gen. Taiwo said that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State was misinformed about the number of casualties recorded at the protest ground.

“Sanwo-Olu misinformed; nobody died at toll-gate,” he said

This was in contradiction to the statement credited to Lagos state governor that two protesters died at Lekki toll-gate.

According to the General, the supposed death did not happen at the protest ground.

“On 20th October 2020, at about 6.30 pm, while we tried to speak with the protesters and negotiate with them, they pelted stones at us and we had to fire blank bullets at protesters”.

General Taiwo alleged that most of the pictures posted on social media were not taken on the said date.

“Any picture that you (lawyers) want to present here must be submitted for forensic test.

“No protester sustained injury or died. The two people Governor Sanwo-Olu mentioned did not die at the scene; one died on Admiralty Way, which is three kilometers away from the Lekki Toll Gate, the second person was shot at Yaba,” Taiwo said.

When asked if the General was aware of the news about the protest on any foreign media, he claimed to have seen the news from BBC and CNN but not from Al-Jazeera

“Most of the videos in play have been manipulated,” Gen Taiwo said.

“Two people fainted, not died”

When asked about the presence of Omata at Lekki toll-gate on the day of the shooting, Gen. Taiwo said Omata and Bello were assigned to secure the Lekki-Epe corridor and were supposed to meet and be on their way before the Lekki incident occurred.

Taiwo explained that the exercise was led by two senior officers Lieutenant Colonel S. O. Bello who is the Commanding Officer of 65 Division, and Brigadier General Francis Omata.

When asked by Olumide-Fusika about the purpose of General Omata joining Lieutenant Colonel Bello at the toll gate, General Taiwo said it was operational.

But the #EndSARS protesters’ lawyer disagreed.

He said: “Are you aware that Gen Omata came later to stop your men from shooting?

The officer replied: “He didn’t. He was there after the shooting had occurred. He was there to employ the non-kinetic (non-violent) measures”.

Taiwo said: “The General Officer Commanding was not in town. I called Gen Omata, he was already on ground”.

Ogunlana: “You also called Bello, why?”

Taiwo: “I was getting conflicting reports from social media and the internet. I wanted to find out what happened.

“On the internet, we were seeing videos being streamed purportedly of shootings on the ground; people screaming ‘they are killing us’ videos to that effect, so I called him.

“When the first report came in, I dismissed it. I knew nobody sent anyone to the Toll Gate….I asked him if he was anywhere near the toll gate and he said they had been stoned by hoodlums and he released some shots into the air.

“I also asked him if anybody had died as it was being reported on the internet, he replied in the negative. He had only seen two people who had fainted and they had been revived”.

As regards the shootings, the general responded to a question from Mr. Bernard Oniga, a representative of the NBA, he said that the army fired in response to the stones thrown at them.

“We shoot if pelted with stones”

“If you are being pelted with stones, the only option is gunshot. You can’t expect us to throw stones back”.

The panel ruled that following Ogunlana’s request, the facility might soon become the subject of forensic and ballistic analysis. The parties were given two weeks to conclude all analysis.

However, Mr. Olumide-Fusika claimed that there was evidence of shootings on the facilities at the toll plaza.

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