Archive for the ‘Nigeria’ Category

Africa beckons

May 14, 2009

Cockatoo members are currently involved in follow-up to the visit by the UAE delegation. It prompted a member to raise some very interesting ‘What if’ questions.

 My partner is currently based in Nigeria which I also visit (apart from the Gulf) and, believe me, that is an area where plenty of opportunities exist for an enterprising nation. They have lots of gas and oil reserves and other minerals, with the Chinese very visible in Nigeria sewing up contracts for these natural resources. However the Chinese don’t build back local infrastructure like the western nations, so the Africans are looking for other partners – but money really talks in Africa.

 France seems to be the major source of quality food imports. Quality food is in really short supply and there is major demand. A plane from France lands in Lagos once each week to supply one Victoria Island market, with all the stock sold by day’s end for very high prices e.g. $30 for 500g of ice cream – rich Nigerians and expats willing to pay. In the supermarket, I saw dairy from Ireland, soap powder and biscuits from USA, but nothing from OZ. All the meat/fresh produce seems to be from France. Surely we could undercut?

 Demand for education and skills training is endless and they also need help with managing their infrastructure, setting up regulatory frameworks, logistics/governance programs etc. Africa is emerging. All we see in the media is a constant supply of ‘poor babies stories’ but there are many versions of Africa so opportunities abound. Nigeria has so much oil, gas, mineral wealth not to mention the vast quantity of Aid money which is such an enormous industry one can’t see it ending anytime soon. Contracts in the millions of dollars are freely exchanged. It is all a matter of connecting with the right person in government. Yes there are issues and deals for trade/Aid, but even with that it is a market we shouldn’t ignore.

 Contributed by Fionnuala Livingston, Port Macquarie NSW