The Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) has said that Retails Supermarkets Nigeria Limited, which trades in Nigeria as Shoprite, employs about 4,500 staff and supports 500 farmers in Nigeria.
The Executive Secretary of the NIPC, Ms Yewande Sadiku, revealed in a statement on Friday in Abuja that Shoprite is one of the country’s strategic investors, providing market access to over 500 Nigerian farmers and small businesses, helping to get local produce and products to millions of Nigerian consumers.
“The announcement by Shoprite Holdings Limited does not imply the closure of Shoprite stores in Nigeria.
“Although details have not been provided, we understand that the structure of the planned transaction may provide an opportunity for Nigerian investors to take up a controlling interest in the business,” the statement read.
Recall that on Monday, August 3, 2020, Shoprite Holdings Limited, the South African supermarket chain operator announced, that “following approaches from various potential investors, and in line with our re-evaluation of the Group’s operating model in Nigeria, the Board has decided to initiate the formal process to consider the potential sale of all or a majority stake in Retail Supermarkets Nigeria Limited.”
On the planned exit, Ms Sadiku said the information from the parent company in South Africa did not imply that the closing of the 25 outlets in Nigeria but opening up the opportunity for Nigerian investors to buy stakes in the company.
The NIPC boss said the Commission had always intervened in states to resolve issues relating to Shoprite operations.
Meanwhile, the NIPC boss told journalists during a virtual engagement that COVID-19 had impacted Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflow into Nigeria, but was not unexpected as FDI was projected to dip by 30% to 40% in 2020 due to the pandemic.
The Director, Department of Strategic Communication, Mr Emeka Offor, attributed the slump in investment pronouncements from the $15.5 billion recorded in the first half of 2019 to $5.5 billion in the first half of 2020 to the onslaught of coronavirus pandemic.
Mr Offor said the dip was in line with global projections on decline in FDIs.
He also revealed that the Commission had started the process of tracking actual investments from investment pronouncements.
He also revealed that despite the impact of the pandemic on the economy, some sectors gained.
He listed the sectors that benefited from the pandemic to include health, pharmaceuticals, renewable energy as well as ICTs-enabled sectors such as telecommunications and e-commerce.