With a huge population of about 160 million, Nigeria remains
Africa's most populous country and a gateway to the Economic
Community of West African States, a regional group of 15 West
African countries. Nigeria is a destination for over 40 percent
of imports to West Africa and ranks third after Egypt and South
Africa among Africa's largest consumer markets in 2009.
According to the 2012 World Investment Report by the United
Nations Conference on Trade and Development, Nigeria is an
Africa's biggest destination for Foreign Direct Investment in
2011 with $8.92bn and records over 20 percent of the total FDI to
The National Bureau of Statistics (
) reported that Nigeria's unemployment rate increased to 23.9
percent in 2011 compared with 21.1 percent in 2010 and 19.7
percent in 2009.
Individuals, groups, corporate bodies, national and
international agencies, and above all, the Nigerian government at
all levels share a goal in common, i.e., jobs creation to reduce
the unemployment rate and its social implications.
In his budget speech of 2011, President Goodluck Jonathan of
Nigeria said, "Unemployment among our youth is one of our biggest
challenges. The time has come to create jobs and lay a new
foundation for Nigeria's economic growth."
Nigeria's large population is growing by 2.553 percent
annually according to a 2012 estimate. This growth rate plus the
effort of Nigeria's government and other agencies to search for
ways of incorporating millions of unemployed youth into the labor
force and Nigeria's reliance on imports have created a market
expansion opportunity for foreign franchisors with good
franchises that are capable of creating jobs.
Franchise Industry As a Vital Mechanism for Mass Job
The franchising industry has proved itself to be a reliable
mechanism for mass jobs creation. In the United States, for
instance, the franchising industry employs over eighteen million
people and provides annual payrolls of more than $229 billion.
The case is no different in other parts of the world including
Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Ireland, Brazil, and
South Africa that embrace the franchise concept as a method of
creating job opportunities.
As the Nigerian government explores mass job opportunities for
its unemployed citizenry, there is no better time than now for
reputable foreign franchisors with good franchises to start
expanding their operations to Nigeria to help create jobs and
promote their interests. A few American, South African, and
European brands have already established their presence in
Nigeria. Currently, the foreign franchises operating in Nigeria
include Crestcom International, Sign-A-Rama, Fastrackids
International, IN2IT Inc, Domino's Pizza, Cold Stone Creamery,
KFC, Precision Tune Auto Care, Computer Troubleshooters, Southern
Fried Chicken, Chicken Inn Fried, Creamy Inn Ice Cream, Debonairs
Pizza, Butterfields, Chicken Licken, and Mochados Chicken.
Fast food, health club, hotel services, professional and
service training, transportation services, telecommunications and
distribution services are the industry sectors where franchising
seems to be showing market growth opportunity in Nigeria.
In a paper presented by Dr. O. A Okongwu, the former director
general of the National Office for Technology Acquisition and
Promotion (NOTAP), he wrote, " International franchisors have not
expanded into Nigeria (compared to their expansion into Asia)
largely because of ignorance of immense market opportunities in
Nigeria and the absence of a franchise-specific legal and
regulatory framework." However, franchise agreement between the
foreign franchisor and the Nigeria franchisee must be presented
to the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion
(NOTAP) for the registration. NOTAP is a Nigeria federal agency
and concerns itself with examining the quality of imported
technology with a view to determining its price and to check
fairly obvious abuses. In other words, the principal concern of
NOTAP is to register contracts/agreements, which deal with the
transfer and acquisition of foreign technology. Also, the main
pieces of Nigeria's legislation that regulates franchise
relationship is fall under the Nigeria's sales law.