Franchising in Nigeria with FASA

Franchising in Nigeria with FASA

It is widely known that Nigeria is a vast country with a large population. What appears to be less well understood is the FACT that Nigeria offers incredible business opportunities. Need proof? Yes, the country has its problems but, given the current political and economic upheavals playing out across the globe, which country hasn’t?  By taking the right approach and exercising patience, Nigeria offers incredible opportunities to many of South Africa’s well-established brands. Read on and see the box Nigeria at a glance.

Kurt Illetschko, life member of FASA and franchise expert met with Chiagozie Nwizu, founder and managing consultant of Franchise Business Development Services (FBDS) Lagos, Nigeria.  He first met Chiagozie when he visited Nigeria at the end of 2015. A protracted exchange of emails and numerous telephone calls later, Chiagozie made an exploratory visit to South Africa at the end of September as he was now ready to facilitate linkages between South African franchisors and Nigerian master licensees. Given the potential impact of this development on FASA members and the Pan African Franchise Federation (PAFF) initiative, Vera Valasis, Executive Director of FASA was invited to the meeting.

Chiagozie proved to be well-informed about the franchise scene in South Africa and recognised South Africa’s role as the leading player in franchising on the African continent. He further explained that because franchising is still in its infancy in Nigeria, education will have to start at grassroots level. Well-meant initiatives of this kind undertaken in the past petered out because experts were brought in for a week-long series of workshops and meetings, followed by – nothing!

Lessons have been learnt and it will be different this time round. Should foreign experts be brought in to present workshops in future, this will be linked to capacity building at a local level to ensure sustainability. As matters stand, the government of Nigeria has identified franchising as a viable vehicle for the creation of sustainable small enterprises and wants to develop local franchise concepts. Chiagozie met with the Office of The Vice President of Nigeria during which options were explored. Chiagozie was encouraged to help speed up the development of franchising by bringing reputable international brands to Nigeria.

Vera Valasis undertook to inform FASA members of this initiative and also offered to make a stand available at the 2018 Franchise Business Festival to serve as a point of first contact between South African franchisors and Nigerian investors. Chiagozie gratefully accepted but stressed that he needed to produce results sooner. With this in mind, he is currently exploring the option of arranging a presentation to FASA members, to be held either in Johannesburg or in Pretoria. We’ll keep you posted.

This article was compiled by Kurt Illetschko in the interest of promoting franchising throughout Africa. Kurt can be contacted at


Vera Valasis, Executive Director of FASA, Chiagozie Nwizu, Managing Consultant at FBDS Lagos, Nigeria and franchise expert Kurt Illetschko met at Chiagozie’s Sandton hotel to discuss the wealth of opportunities Nigeria offers FASA members. Chiagozie received a complimentary copy of the FASA Manual 2017 which he is proudly displaying.

Nigeria at a glance

Total population: 186 million, expected to reach 400 million by 2050.

Strong urbanisation:50% of all Nigerians live in cities and their numbers are growing; Lagos has a population of 17.5 million people and 24 cities have populations exceeding 100,000.

GDP 2016: US-$ 405.1 bio.

Rapidly growing middle class:             Research carried out by Standard Bank reveals that already, 4.1 mio households fall into the middle-income bracket. This number is expected to rise to 11.7 mio households by 2030.

Language: Several native languages but English is the language of choice in business and politics.

Cost of living: A widespread perception exists that the cost of living in Nigeria is high but research published on reveals that living in Lagos is actually 19% cheaper than living in Johannesburg. Unfortunately, this does not apply to business class hotels; no matter how you look at it, they are expensive.

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