Marcopolis presents Nigeria Report focused on topics such as investments, power and hospitality, featuring interviews with Nigeria's leaders. The sectors under review in this issue are banking, construction, energy, industry, logistics, real estate, tourism and many more.
Chagoury Group: "We Will Keep on Investing More and More in Nigeria"
Ronald Chagoury Jr., Vice Chairman of South Energyx Limited (Eko Atlantic)
Interview with Ronald Chagoury Jr., Vice Chairman of South Energyx Limited (Eko Atlantic)
Let’s start with your vision for the Chagoury group? Where do you see it going?
The Chagoury group has been around for quite some time already and looking forward we're looking to keep on investing more and more in the country. We currently see huge growth potential as we’ve seen it over the past 20 years or 30 years and we think that the next 15 or 30 years we are going to still see such a growth going on. The group is quite diversified from various industries; we are opening new factories in different fields such as hospitality, real estate, industry and food beverage and quite a few more sectors that we will be entering as part of Eko Atlantic as well.
Which sectors are you investing in specifically?
So for example health care is something we are looking at. Education is another point we are looking at. Infrastructure. Different elements of the infrastructure. In Eko Atlantic alone there are quite a few elements such as water treatment, sewage treatment and transportation eventually, at least within the city and those are just a few of the possible infrastructure elements . Other than that we have local factories related to construction materials to be able to get the materials into Nigeria for ease of procurement because the market is huge and our requirements are growing with time.
What is your personal vision for the Eko Atlantic development?
We are really looking to build a very modern, state of the art, smart and efficient city as well. The way we have designed EAC and the way we are building the city is to have it very efficient in the way it operates. How this will help is that in the future it will require less maintenance. It allows for a better flow of transportation as well as better traffic flow and less pollution within the city, more energy efficiency in the buildings and in different elements in the city as well. This will encourage and attract international business and corporates. We are looking to become the financial centre of West Africa and hopefully one day the whole of sub-Saharan Africa and Lagos is the perfect place for this to happen.
In addition, we are looking at building the largest shopping mall in sub-Saharan Africa. We already started the process and it’s a matter of years before it comes online but it’s going to be a very impressive tourist destination nationally and also regionally.
Nigeria’s potential is extremely big. We do have some bad years like many other places in the world but the good years are fantastic and it’s a matter of being ready for those good years. It’s a massive country.
Do you have a final message for international investors interested in Nigeria?
Nigeria’s potential is extremely big. We do have some bad years like many other places in the world but the good years are fantastic and it’s a matter of being ready for those good years. It’s a massive country. It’s a huge country. The populations going to grow by over 60% over the next 15 years. The amount of middle income is going to grow significantly as percentage of the population. The number of high income is going to grow significantly as well. All of this has huge potential. If we look at real estate as an example, we are very far behind in terms of supply compared to South Africa and the population is a third of the size. Seeing where we are going forward and the amount of supply coming online we are very far behind from where we should be and from where we could be in the next 10 to 15 years. So the potential is huge in terms of investment. Other sectors such as the mortgage industry are still in its infancy. Retail is a totally untapped industry. Many of the industries are just to supply the market in Nigeria. We need a lot of investments and the infrastructure could be there if it is well planned. It’s not a very difficult place to come in. It just takes good planning ahead of time and just the market itself by producing locally, a lot of the products can be much more competitive than importing them.
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