Without mincing words, the year 2020 has been an eventful one, from the coronavirus pandemic to the #EndSARS protest that shut the economies of the nation’s commercial cities, which was later hijacked by hoodlums and culminated in the destruction of public and private properties including loss of lives, the year would not be forgotten anytime soon.
In the midst of all these developments, many have found their diamonds in the rubble – and many more will. These people, however, will be those who are willing to adapt to the changing times by repositioning themselves to leverage the opportunities that will arise, especially in the year 2021.
With respect to the nation’s 2021 N13 trillion budget, there are different opportunities across several sectors in the Nigerian economy and that is based on what experts have seen now.
At the Quarterly Economic Outlook Webinar recently hosted by Nairametrics, the founder of Nairametrics, Ugochukwu ‘Ugodre’ Obi-Chukwu, offered insights into some of the industries that are expected to succeed in 2021 given the changing times and which you can take advantage of.
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Construction & real estate
Ugodre said, “We’ve seen the devastating effects that the hoodlum-hijacked-protest did for Nigeria in general, not just in Lagos, but across the country.
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“Government also plans to spend big in terms of Construction and real estate, and so I see value-driven opportunities here for people who are in the furniture and fittings business, paintings, steel, sanitary.
“If you also go by some of the results that we’ve seen, particularly on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, I have seen a lot of opportunities that have presented itself for businesses in that sector, particularly in the industrial sector.”
He added that there are opportunities for consultancy jobs as well, whether you are an architect, quantity surveyor, or evaluator, you have to plug in and position yourself well to seize some of the opportunities that this sector will spring up.
“If there is anything that will drive economy in Nigeria, it’s got to be construction. One of the reasons we’ve also seen Nigeria’s GDP contracting and also with tepid growth in other cases is because the real estate and trade sectors are down. So, you’ve got to move to construction, real estate, trade a little bit better for Nigeria to start to see the dividends of economic development,” he added.
Transportation and logistics
“Although a lot of people are not happy with the tolling and ticketing, and that’s what is going to happen, as at some point, there will be private sector investment in this space and it’s just going to happen as government can’t build all the roads and they can’t close all the infrastructural gaps and deficits in the country.
“So there is plenty of opportunities in this area. However, road maintenance is going to be huge in this space, as the more roads the government constructs, the more they are going to have to spend on maintenance and other services, “Ugodre opined.
He predicts that there is going to be a lot going to road maintenance and services too. According to him, filling stations and fast-food restaurants are going to open up when you have major roads like expressways and interstate roads, which would need these services.
“They would need fast-food restaurants and ancillary services for this infrastructural development. So make no mistake about it, as there are opportunities here for anyone who is in the transport and logistics sector.”
Food and water
Ugodre explained that about 65-70% of Nigerians spend their income on food and water, and this is always going to be big for the nation.
“It appears that you can’t get it wrong if you are in the food business. If you sell good food, people will always eat and there is food for everyone, no matter where you find yourself. Even the local ‘mama put’ person will find opportunities here. As we continue to build more roads and continue to open markets, and people continue to strive for survival, they are going to need food.
“Nigeria is one of the top consumers of water in the world. So I think that packaged and bottled water will continue to be significant this year and beyond.
“For 2021, people who are in the field of food and water business should remain in that business because opportunities there would only continue to expand and the interesting thing is that the barrier to entry is not that high, all you need to look for is a very good market and look for the right type of food, and people would come in there.”
With the Federal Government’s continued emphasis that Agriculture would be a priority, Ugodre insists that that sector would be a good place to invest in 2021.
He said, “Investors are going to see a lot of funds pumped in here. I have a friend who just came into Nigeria recently and he is around for farming, with his land in the Lekki area of Lagos.
“You will see a lot of people going into this space, because so long as this is where the government is pointing it’s direction to, you are going to see a lot of funds roaming in that sector and it’s only an opportunity for you.
Ugodre believes this sector needs no introduction, as the nation has seen the impact of COVID-19, which has once again brought healthcare to the fore.
“Over the last few years, a lot of people have been talking about healthcare as probably one of the next big things in Nigeria, but COVID-19 has basically just fast-tracked how important healthcare is.
“A lot of investors have told me that this is one space that they think they can actually channel into. Now the most difficult part of healthcare is health insurance, and not just in Nigeria but across the world,” he added.