Abuja ----------------The Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission, NIPC, has described the South African - owned Shoprite Retailer as a strategic investment playing vital role in connecting Nigerian produce and products to national and regional value chains.
The Executive Secretary, NIPC, Yewande Sadiku, spoke at a Webinar held by NIPC management team with reporters Thursday in Abuja, saying that the announcement by the retail shop did not imply the closure of Shoprite stores in Nigeria, although the full details were yet to be known.
“But we understand that the structure of the planned transaction will give an opportunity for Nigerian investors to take up a controlling interest in the business entity," she said, pointing out that Nigeria investments, retail distribution and related sectors were necessary for the country to achieve its investment ambition.
Sadiku further explained that retail value chain was useful for providing deeper market access for producers of local products and connecting Nigerian businesses to not only national value chain, but regional.
Her words, "The retail market is a material driver for the growth of the Nigerian economy and accounts for 16 per cent of our Gross Domestic Product, GDP.
“From the work we do in NIPC, we know that Shoprite, which operates 25 outlets in 11 states and FCT are responsible for direct and indirect employment of about 4,500 people whom vast majority are Nigerians.
“I believe that government commitment in progressively improving business environment for domestic and foreign investors will remain."
She further said in reality, the work Shoprite offered provided market access to over 500 Nigerian farmers and small businesses helping many of them to get local produce to millions of Nigerian consumers.
According to her, the NIPC remained committed in the context of its mandate even as "We have intervened for Shoprite several times and over the last two years in engagement with other government agencies."