In view of the United States of America’s 2019 Department of Commerce report which projected that Nigeria has the potential of earning $100bn annually from franchising, the federal government has set the ball rolling to position the country as a gateway for franchise development in Africa.
Speaking at the launch of the pilot programme of “Franchising as an Investment Alternative for Lagos MSMEs” in Lagos recently, the Minister of State, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Ambassador Mariam Katagum explained the government’s plan to tap into the vast population for franchise development.
“With a population of about 200 million, Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and has the potential to become the gateway for franchise development in Africa,” she stated.
According to her, the federal government is working through relevant ministries, departments and agencies to drive collaboration with stakeholders to address the regulatory clauses and disclosure documents of the Franchise Bill to be filed at the National Assembly for passage into law.
The minister who was represented at the launch by a Deputy Director, Industrial Development Department of the FMITI, Mrs Olumuyiwa Ajayi-Ade, stated that the federal government is determined to improve the business environment in the country.
“ Franchising allows not only expansion but an empowerment tool, which can benefit start-up companies and develop Nigeria’s SMEs to bring about growth and sustainable development in the economy.
“Today, there are a number of emerging and developed economies that have embraced franchising as an effective means for job creation. For example, South Africa, whose economy is comparable to Nigeria’s, generates 12.5 per cent of its GDP from franchising,” she added.
Corroborating the minister, Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Sustainable Development Goals and Investment, Mrs Solape Hammond, noted that the market demand for the franchise industry grows by as much as 30 per cent annually in the global markets.
According to her, the Lagos State government in an attempt to tap into the rich industry is encouraging investors to set up franchises in Lagos, the country’s largest commercial city.
“For many businesses, franchising is an excellent route to growth, opening up new opportunities and markets. Particularly in a society like Nigeria where company reputations are highly valued, therefore, operating under a trusted brand name puts one ahead of the competition in many ways.”
The Lagos State Office of SDGs and Investment in partnership with the Founder of the Frandis Forum, Mr Tayo Adedugbe, added that the goal of the initiative is to support the development of franchising as a viable model for helping MSMEs scale their business, attract investments, expand across the state and internationally and create new jobs while stimulating and diversifying the economy.
The initiative, according to the presentation, will include a workshop for 300 Lagos-based MSMEs on franchising and capacity building as well as franchising awareness, process and structures.