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Lagos, 3 February 2021 – Against the backdrop of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the NielsenIQ Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) for West Africa has presented a more positive picture in Quarter 4, 2021 with Nigeria CCI at 114, reflecting a slow but steady return to levels above 120 seen during 2019, while Ghana continues to show an improvement to its current CCI of 123.

NielsenIQ West Africa MD Ged Nooy comments; “As the largest economy on the continent, Nigeria has managed to keep its COVID-19 infection rate relatively low in proportion to its 206-million population, however, its macro-economic prospects have been dampened by lower oil prices, increased food prices and rising inflation, together with a 50% VAT increase in 2020. Despite these challenges, Nigerian consumers remain upbeat about their prospects.”

This has seen improved confidence around job prospects, with 58% of consumers saying they will be good or excellent in the next 12 months – a 3-point increase from the previous quarter. In terms of the state of their finances over the next 12 months, 78% say they will be excellent or good, showing a substantial 11 point increase from the previous quarter. Nigerians’ propensity to purchase has unfortunately seen a 13 point decrease to just 27% of Nigerians who think now is a good or excellent time to purchase what they want or need.

In terms of whether they have spare cash left after paying for essentials, 26% of Nigerians say yes, down seven  points from the previous quarter. Once they meet their essential living expenses, however, the highest number of consumers (78%) put their spare cash into savings, followed by 73% who spend it on home improvements and 61% who invest in stocks and mutual funds.

Squeezed wallets

Despite their more positive medium to long term outlook, their wallets remain tight with 80% of Nigerians saying they have changed their spending to save on household expenses compared to this time last year. To reduce expenses, the highest number of consumers (73%) said they have deferred the replacement of major household items, 63% are spending less on out of home entertainment and 56% less on at home entertainment .

Looking ahead, the top Nigerian consumer concern over the next twelve months is their children’s education and welfare at 22%, increasing food prices (16%) and the economy at 11%. Within this context, these drops reflect consumers’ confidence in the macro picture in terms of food inflation and overall economic performance.

A subdued outlook

Looking at Ghana’s performance, increased consumer confidence during the last two quarters has seen its overall index rise to 123. Fortunately, Ghanaians are still fairly optimistic in terms of their job prospects with 67% saying they will be good or excellent in the next year. In terms of the state of their finances over the next 12 months, 74% say they will be excellent or good –

Ghanaians propensity to purchase has also seen a considerable decrease half think now is a good or excellent time to purchase what they want or need.

Only 46% of Ghanaians say they have spare cash and once they meet their essential living expenses, the highest number of consumers (68%) put their spare cash into savings. This is followed by 57%who say they invest in shares and mutual funds and 56% on home improvements

Curtailed spending

When asked whether they had changed their spending to save on household expenses compared to this time last year, 73% of Ghanaians said yes. To reduce expenses, the highest number (49%) said delaying the replacement of major household items followed by 48% spending less on new clothes and 47% less on out of home entertainment.

When looking at the real-life factors that are affecting their outlook, the top consumer concern over the next twelve months is work/life balance (12%), followed by increasing food prices, job security and tolerance towards other religions – all at 11%.

Looking at the future outlook for Ghana, Nooy comments; “Ghana is likely to outperform the regional economic growth average in 2021 which bodes well for increased domestic demand and consumption levels. To benefit from these improved circumstances retailers will need to meet radically altered consumer, demands, needs and behaviours that will impact where they shop, what they buy, why they buy and how much they are willing to spend.”

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

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Farmforte, Others Signs MoU To Strengthen and Sustain Growth in Agricultural Sector



Farmforte - Investors King

Farmforte Limited has signed a strategic Memorandum of Understanding with the Agricultural Fresh Produce Growers and Exporters Association of Nigeria; HYBR, a pan-African innovation firm; and ALTS, a consulting and strategy development firm.

The firm said in a statement on Sunday that the partnership would strengthen common interest cooperation and stimulate inclusive and sustainable growth within the agricultural sector, by capitalising on the synergy and comparative advantage offered by each organisation.

Speaking during the signing ceremony, Farmforte Co-Chief Executive Officer, Osazuwa Osayi, said, “Our mid to long-term strategic goals are further reaffirmed, as this partnership will facilitate the sharing of knowledge, ideas, and expertise across the agricultural sector.

“We will collectively address initiatives and approaches concerning agricultural investments, food security, and the overall robustness of the value chain.”

He said the collaboration would also unlock the full potential of the sector and place it on a renewed path for success, especially within a post-pandemic economy.

The President of AFGEAN, Tajuddeen Dantata, said, “By creating dialogue and fostering investment in the horticulture sector, this partnership will endeavor to support Farmforte in its exporting efforts by improving operational efficacy and cost-savings, while ultimately driving socio-economic growth in the country.”

The Chief Executive Officer, HYBR, Charles Ojei, said to drive inclusion, sustainability, job creation, and Nigeria’s overall economic growth, the optimisation of the agriculture value chain was critical.

“This collaboration is a fusion of the complementary capabilities of all partners to move a bigger agenda forward.”

The Managing Partner, ALTS, Akintunde Sawyerr, said, “The goal of this partnership is to support Farmforte’s vision of becoming the largest agribusiness by 2035 via scalable and world-class innovation across its enterprise.”

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OctaFX Launches Dual Life Campaign



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International Forex broker, OctaFX has launched a socially conscious marketing campaign called Dual Life aimed at simplifying forex trading and helping Nigerians create wealth.

A statement by the organisation on Monday said that the marketing campaign would celebrate the superpowers of Nigerians who committed their time and efforts to two or more jobs and were successful at each one of them.

It stated that the #DualLifewithOctaFX campaign had influencers in the Nigerian lifestyle and entertainment space such as Toke Makinwa, Bovi, Denola Grey, Timini Egbuson, and others at the core of the engagements, establishing the other sides of the celebrities and influencers as entrepreneurs.

While speaking about the campaign, the Marketing Manager, EMEA, OctaFX, Ali Nwadike said, “We wanted to position forex trading as that activity young Nigerians and everyone else, can engage in, even while focusing on their careers.

“From findings, most young Nigerians today work two or more jobs to pay the bills and attain financial freedom. But, we don’t get to talk about this often or appreciate the efforts, hence the #DualLifewithOctaFX campaign.

“While some see their jobs as a burden, we want people to see it as an achievement; and promote the school of thought that says one, two, many jobs is not bad especially when you are trying to create wealth.”

Nwadike added that more Nigerians would be exposed to the beauty of keeping their regular jobs and careers while making more money from forex trading with the OctaFX Trading App.

The statement also affirmed that OctaFX had made necessary arrangements from assembling forex experts and compiling training guides in the simplest and relatable form.

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AfDB Appoints Dr. Beth Dunford as Vice President



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The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) has announced the appointment of Dr. Beth Dunford as its Vice President, Agriculture, Human and Social Development. The appointment becomes effective from July 1, 2021.

A statement explained that Dunford, a national of the United States of America, brings extensive experience to this role. She has held senior-level leadership positions in the US government, where she managed large and complex programs, working with the private sector, civil society, and multilateral and bilateral institutions, as well as with African governments, to deliver agricultural, social and human development impact at scale.

Prior to her appointment, Dunford worked as the Assistant to the Administrator in the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID’s) Bureau for Resilience and Food Security, as well as the Deputy Coordinator for Development for Feed the Future, the U.S. government’s global hunger and food security initiative.

“In this dual role, she coordinated Feed the Future across multiple U.S. government agencies, oversaw a $1 billion annual budget and leveraged millions of direct private sector investment annually. In this capacity, she also coordinated a $2.3 billion Feed the Future presidential initiative across 11 US government agencies and forged partnerships within the private sector and civil society targeted at reducing hunger and poverty.

“She also led USAID’s technical and regional expertise focused on improving agriculture-led growth, resilience, nutrition and water security, sanitation and hygiene,” the statement added.

President of the African Development Bank, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina said he was delighted to appoint Dunford as Vice President to lead the Bank’s work on Agriculture, Human and Social Development.

“Beth is a strategic and effective leader with deep knowledge and impressive track record in designing and delivering highly impactful large-scale programs that have helped in lifting 27 million people out of poverty in 36 countries,” he added.

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