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COVID-19 Creates Fundamental Shifts in Africa’s Consumers

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COVID 19 Grocery Shopper
  • COVID-19 Creates Fundamental Shifts in Africa’s Consumers

Johannesburg, 26 May 2020 – The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a new kind of African consumer who is already displaying fundamental shifts in consumption and purchase behaviour driven by factors such as heightened health awareness, a focus on quality and safety, a renewed desire to stay at home and a tight wallet squeeze.

As a result of this, a recent Nielsen industry webinar ‘Navigating the New Normal’ discussed the realities and effects of this rapidly evolving outlook. Speaking during the webinar, Nielsen Africa MD Bryan Sun outlined the consumer evolution since the onset of the pandemic and the fact that crisis-buying patterns have accelerated the adoption of permanent behaviour change.

“As the prospect of looming lockdowns first hit, consumers realised they needed to stock up which saw a spike in store visits, stockpiling of shelf staples and growing basket sizes. However, as restricted living became more common place, there was a change in behaviour with consumers seeking out products without putting their health at risk.

“We have therefore seen growth in online shopping, declining store visits and a rise in out of stocks. Supply chain challenges have also driven consumers to be less price sensitive on high demand packaged goods or  those that guarantee hygiene standards,” explained Sun.

The expectation is that once restrictions are lifted and consumers return to “business as usual” they will continue to operate with a renewed consciousness about health, which will remain for a long time. There will also be shifts in the way consumers perceive products with the increased importance of safety and efficacy claims, and a willingness to spend more on hygiene needs and healthy foods.

Global perspective

The webinar also presented findings on Nielsen’s recent COVID-19 syndicated online survey which was conducted in over 70 countries across the globe and produced interesting comparative data and insights for Sub-Saharan Africa (Kenya, Nigeria & South Africa) as compared to the rest of the world.

The study revealed that 75% of SSA consumers are now more concerned about their families versus the global average of 48%. In addition, 83% said they were following information multiple times a day – significantly higher than the global average of 75%.

Looking at the impact of the severe limitations on out of home activities; 51% of SSA consumers said they were cooking more at home versus 39% globally, and significantly more said they worked more at home versus the global average.

In terms of the impact of the epidemic on their out of home and shopping activities, 46% SSA consumers said they are visiting malls less often versus the global average of 32%.

Despite perceptions that Africa lagged behind in terms of online behaviour it has in fact seen incredible behaviour changes with major increases in the use of social networking, online reading, listening to music and video streaming.

Future mindsets

As countries move from restricted living to precautionary living, Nielsen has also created an in-depth view of current and future SSA consumer mindset and purchase patterns based on learnings from other markets:

  • Heightened health awareness will drive consumers to be less price sensitive on high demand packaged goods or those that guarantee hygiene standards as food safety becomes paramount to consumers.
  • The renewed desire to stay at home and the preparation of home meals might require brand extensions and a need to address declining store visits, growth in online and proximity shopping.
  • As consumers are impacted by less income and smaller purchasing wallets, value for money offerings and more aggressive promotions – over that of just in-store promotions – are needed.
  • eCommerce growth has reached double digits in many countries with Italy at 82%, China 50%, and Korea 30% where older shoppers are trying eCommerce for the first time. Technology catalysts are driving behavioural change and will penetrate the market despite previous scepticism around this platform.

Looking to the future, Sun commented that the path to recovery means retailers must urgently look at factors such as pricing mechanisms and brand relationships in order to maintain and strengthen consumer trust in their brand.

“Successful retail regeneration across the continent, following the impact of COVID-19 on the African consumer and retail landscape, will rely on an agile and innovative response that sets the groundwork for a future unlike any we have ever known.”

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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Segun Opeke is Polaris Bank Executive Director

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Polaris Bank Appoints Segun Opeke as Executive Director

Mr. Segun Opeke has been appointed as an Executive Director of Polaris Bank Limited, according to a statement issued by the bank.

The lender said the appointment was made by the bank’s Board of Directors and the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON).

According to the statement, Mr. Opeke has over 26 years of hands-on work experience acquired from leading Nigerian commercial banks with over fifteen of these years in senior and executive management roles.

Until his appointment, Opeke was the Directorate Head, Lagos Business.

The Lagos Directorate under, his leadership, recorded outstanding growth and contributed significantly to the turnaround of the bank, evidenced by its impressive financial performance recorded in the 2019 financial year.

“Since the CBN intervention in the erstwhile Skye Bank Plc in July 2016, Segun has played a prominent role in the Bank’s transformation initiatives and very instrumental to the several milestone achievements of the Bank.

“By this appointment, he is expected to strengthen the bank’s leadership aspirations in the industry leveraging his wealth of experience and contributing greatly to its ongoing corporate transformation programme,” it stated.

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Survival Fund: Here is FG’s Timetable for Registration as Portal Opens Today

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Small and Medium Enterprises

FG’s Timetable for Survival Fund as Registration Portal Opens Today

The registration portal for the Federal Government’s Survival Fund will be officially opened to prospective beneficiaries at 10 pm Monday, September 21, 2020.

According to the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President (Office of the Vice President), Laolu Akande, the survival fund would help ease the negative impact of COVID-19 on small businesses and self-employed individuals.

He said “the website https://survivalfund.ng will be open for Nigerians who have MSMEs or who are artisans, plumbers, electricians, transport workers, private school teachers or who belong to different categories under the survival fund.”

On Sunday, the Federal Government released a statement detailing timetable for categories of businesses to register. According to the statement, educational institutions will be the first category of beneficiaries to register on the portal.

Nigerians interested in the Payroll Support scheme are to note that the site for registration will be open from 10 pm Monday, September 21, 2020.

“In order to ensure a seamless registration process, the Project Delivery Office (PDO) has designed a registration schedule.

“Registration for Payroll Support will start with educational institutions on Monday and will be followed with businesses in the hospitality industry on Friday, September 25 beginning from 12 A.M.

“The portal will also be open to other categories of small businesses from 12 A.M., on Monday, September 28, 2020,” the statement said.

Federal Government, therefore, advised those whose businesses were impacted by COVID-19 to take note of the schedule and also log on to http://www.survivalfund.ng to register for the payroll support initiative.

The survival fund is a federal government’s conditional grant to support vulnerable Micro and Small enterprises in paying salaries and safegaurd jobs to prevent further increase in unemployment and cushion falling economic productivity.

For how to access survival fund clicks here

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How to Access Survival Fund Through Official Registration Portal

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Here is a Detail Break Down of How You Can Access MSMEs Survival Fund

You can now start registering for the National Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Survival Fund instituted by the Federal Government to help small businesses and individuals impacted by COVID-19.

To access survival fund registration portal log on to https://survivalfund.ng

According to Laolu Akande, the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President (Office of the Vice President), “Next week, we are starting the survival fund, which is a part of this plan. From next week, it will be available and people who are potential beneficiaries will be able to get more information on https://survivalfund.ng.”

He said from next week, “the website https://survivalfund.ng will be open for Nigerians who have MSMEs or who are artisans, plumbers, electricians, transport workers, private school teachers or who belong to different categories under the survival fund.”

About 45 percent of beneficiaries of the program are expected to be female-owned businesses while 5 percent is allocated to persons with special needs.

The survival fund includes payroll support for three months, and a guaranteed offtake scheme among others, all under the National Economic Sustainability Plan (NESP).

The Federal Government plans to reach around 1.7 million individuals and businesses through the program.

How to Benefit from MSMEs Survival Fund.

To benefit from National MSMEs Survival Fund, your business must:

—Be Nigerian-owned
—Be CAC-registered
—Business owner must have a BVN
—Staff strength of not less than 10 for Payroll Support and 3 for GoS.

Eligibility for the survival fund Nigeria

To qualify for Survival Fund Nigeria, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  1. For employers of MSMEs
  • All the beneficiaries companies must be registered under the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).
  • Must have staff capacity of not less than 3 persons,
  • All the eligible enterprises must be owned by a Nigerian and located in Nigeria.
  • Must have BVN.
  1. Self-Employed Individuals in the following categories
  • Service Providers in the transportation sector, i.e bus drivers, taxi drivers, ride share drivers (Uber, Bolt. etc) and Mechanics.
  • Artisans: Electricians, Plumbers, etc.

Application portal opening date

The portal will open on Monday, 21st September 2020

Survivalfund.ng Portal

The MSME Survival Fund registration portal is survivalfund.ng. Registration for the National MSMEs Survival Fund will begin on Monday, 21st September 2020.

MSME Survival Fund Registration Portal & Information.

Under the National Survival Fund is a Payroll Support Scheme, vulnerable registered businesses will be supported in meeting their payroll obligations of between N30,000 to N50,000 per employee to safeguard the jobs of a maximum of 10 employees over a 3-month period.

In addition to registered businesses, the National MSMEs Survival Fund will also cater to a second category of Nigerians: the Self-employed, including:

  • Service providers in the transportation sector, i.e. Bus/Taxi drivers, Rideshare drivers, Auto-Mechanics
  • Artisans (Electricians Plumbers etc).

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