Entrepreneurs have called for the diversification of the Nigerian economy, especially the development of the large agricultural potential, to aid economic growth and stability.
Business executives spoke at the conference of Association of Fast Food Confectioners of Nigeria (AFFCON). The theme of the conference was: Synergy in the Food Chain: A Catalyst for Economic and Agricultural Development.
Chief Executive Officer, The Chair Group, Mrs. Ibukun Awosika, stated that Nigeria’s diversification of the economy should be hinged on agriculture because of Nigeria’s large population, large expanse of land as well as fertile soil.
Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, who was represented by Mrs. Sade Ogunnaike, stressed the importance of agriculture in the economy, noting that it would boost the Association faster. The governor noted that by getting involved in agriculture, members of the fast food industry would be able to control the standard and quality of the items like eggs, meat, chicken, rice, yam, etc that they serve customers.
Awosika advised members of the AFFCON to think differently about their value chain to find out ways to partner with others to eliminate waste, make better use of storage facilities and warehousing, reduce cost per unit, and increase their turnaround time, thereby empowering other companies to grow.
She advised that companies must evaluate their value chain and identify those parts that are critical to their processes and outsource others, to increase company’s efficiency.
But most importantly, Mrs Awosika urged the industry to take the Nigeria fast food business out of Nigeria, given that Nigeria dominates the West African region. That way, she noted, Nigerians would create global brands like other countries.
President, Association of Fast Food Confectioners of Nigeria (AFFCON), Mrs Bose Ayeni said operators in the quick service sector popularly known as fast food contribute a record N230 billion into the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) annually.
According to her, the Nigerian fast food industry is a key contributor to the Nigerian economy, with an estimated annual revenue of N230 billion and taxes in excess of a billion. It also collectively provides employment for over 500,000 people at the processing and retailing levels.
“We are certainly contributing to the reduction of unemployment, a focal point of the Federal Government. This figure can grow significantly given the right environment for our businesses to thrive. The multiplier effect of this on the economy is better imagined than stated. Many of the small local players who operate at the neighbourhood level also have potential to become big given the right environment to thrive,” Ayeni said.
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