Show me the money: An investor's guide to Nigeria’s consumer market
A market place. Source: Calin Stan via Unsplash

The joke is almost a decade old now. It goes something like this: for a long time, the most prominent number in a standard investment or transaction deck in Nigeria was the population size.

The idea is roundly mocked now but the underlying logic is sound; the more people there are, the larger your potential market. Unfortunately, Nigerian investors and entrepreneurs have learnt that this is only true when those people have spending power.

In the last five years, Nigerians have gotten poorer.

There is a less obvious but equally important problem with the “population = market size idea”, though. It treats all 200 million Nigerians as if they were the same.

We all know that this cannot be true, and one of the most important differences between people in Nigeria is where they live. For example, 44% of Nigerians in rural areas still use pit latrines, the same as

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Michael Famoroti

Michael Famoroti

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