By Opeyemi Solaru
As we are entering the second half of the year, Nigerian business owners are looking at the trends and outcomes of the first half of the year to inform business decisions for the second half of the year. Still bearing in mind the economic implications of the current pandemic, there are many factors to consider in making well-informed business moves.
In the first half of 2021, Nigeria did experience some key challenges that contributed to limited economic growth in the nation. This includes, but is not limited to, the drop in oil prices, unstable foreign exchange environment and emerging digital economy. While the emerging economy would ordinarily serve as a beacon of hope for the economy, the recent Twitter ban has caused some uncertainty surrounding the digital economy and the role that the Nigerian government will play.
Nevertheless, the African Development Group estimates that Nigeria’s economy will grow by 1.5% by the end of the year. Earlier in the year, the World Bank increased Nigeria’s projected from 1.1% economic growth to 1.8%. Notwithstanding the various challenges faced, several key market trends have indicated opportunities for the Nigerian government and entrepreneurs alike. These sectors include telecommunications, construction, crop productions and food manufacturing to name a few.
Damilola Akinbami, Head of Research of Financial Directives Company, shared with CNBCAfrica how important it is to move with caution, especially with the new delta variant of COVID. As it continues to spread, businesses are at risk of being affected by reduced demand recovery. However, as vaccination rates continue to increase, it is anticipated that a third wave will hopefully be mitigated.
Impact Hub Lagos has worked in partnership with the UNDP to execute the 2021 UNDP SDG Hackathon in which over 100 entrepreneurs have come together to develop solutions to many problems, in sectors such as agriculture and construction. It was exciting to see such innovative solutions, especially as Nigeria continues to aim for economic growth across sectors.