The aviation sector suffered setbacks due to the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, as the lockdown effected by many countries led to travel restrictions, reduced revenue and mass loss of jobs.
In the case of Nigeria, operators in the sector felt the impact of the pandemic more than their counterparts, as ‘old illness’ suffered by the airlines was exacerbated by the pandemic and left the operators writhing in pains.
For the sector to survive in 2021 – in the heat of the second wave of the pandemic, stakeholders shared their expectations and factors that must be addressed by the federal government to aid the rebound of the sector.
They listed stable exchange rate, reduction of cost of operations, waivers on Customs tariffs for aircraft and spares and cost of aircraft insurance, a reversal of 25% remittance of earnings, amongst others.
Unstable exchange rate
In an interview with Nairametrics, the Managing Director, Aero Mainstream Cargo Services, Ajibade Adewale, explained that the unstable exchange rate, especially for aviation stakeholders, has been a clog in the wheel of operations of the airlines, and most of them cannot afford to inflate their charges in line with the unstable rate.
“Operations of the airlines are largely dollar-denominated. Operations like aircraft purchase plus maintenance and training of staff amongst others can only be done in dollars. The only thing they do in local currency would be salaries.
“Either airlines are allowed to access stable rates or the federal government creates an enabling environment for aircrafts maintenance or repairs here.
“The rubber industry should be revived for investors to set up tyre manufacturing factories in Nigeria, in order to stop importing aircrafts tyres from other parts of the world. Most of the aircraft tyres are manufactured and imported from the United Kingdom (Dunlop), France (Michelin), United States of America (Goodyear), and Bridgestone (Japan).”
He insisted that if enabling environment is created by the government, some of these companies will return to Nigeria and this will reduce cost of maintenance for the airlines.
Lack of skills to execute right policies
On creating an enabling environment, especially for maintenance factory, Capt. David Olubadewo, Managing Director, Starburst Aviation Limited and a Nigerian based in UK, explained that aviation in Nigeria is a very difficult business because the environment is unfriendly.
“Aside from the role of the government, the industry has always been given a bad name in that light. It is not that we don’t have the people to fix it, but there are different aspects that have been compounded over the years. That is why we are where we are today.
“We have lots of very qualified people, there are lots of engineers in the United Kingdom and the United States who are Nigerians. We have people that are overqualified, but we lack the skills to execute the right policies to grow the sector.”
Olubadewo explained that most of the airlines and other industry stakeholders could not access cheaper loans because banks believe that the sector is too difficult to invest in.
“But that is wrong. It is not different from other sectors. We are all in it to make profit at the end of the day. I don’t obtain loans from Nigerian banks, because I will end up with -25% loss or more, but that is not happening in the UK where I pay far less interest rate.
“If I take such loan in Nigeria, it means I am -28 per cent (interest rate) in red, and by the time you get to the top, you are owing millions. I cannot approach any of the banks to give me local money to do business in Nigeria. If I can go through that, you can imagine the experiences of the airlines.”
Suspension of 7.5% VAT
Recently, a member of the finance bill drafting committee and West Africa Tax Lead, PwC Nigeria, Taiwo Oyedele, disclosed via a tweet, that the federal government has again suspended the deduction of 7.5% Value Added Tax (VAT) on airfares and other air transport services.
According to him, the latest suspension order was scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2021, as it is contained in the 2020 finance act recently signed by President Muhammadu Buhari. Operators in the aviation sector are convinced that its implementation would ease the burden on them in 2021.
Effective 1st Jan 2021, commercial flight tickets have been exempted from VAT.
Next time you fly, cross check that you're not wrongly charged VAT (and hopefully air fares should come down). #FinanceAct2020
— Taiwo Oyedele (@taiwoyedele) January 5, 2021
Media and Communications Manager, Dana Air, Kingsley Ezenwa, explained that his airline would be excited to plow back the proceeds of VAT removal to the business and ticket fares subsidy.
“But that may not happen soon, the expected gains are subject to the actual implementation of the policy and the review of other multiple charges in the aviation industry.”
What you should know
- The FG in June 2018 issued an executive order on the suspension of VAT in air transport, but the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) claimed to be unaware of such a directive, hence it was never implemented.
- Airline operators had complained that Nigeria is the only country that still charges VAT on air transport services. The VAT plus 36 other charges, according to the airlines, account for at least 40% of total revenue and N10 billion in taxes yearly, leaving the airlines heavily indebted and in financial distress or both in most cases.
Prices of local rice, onions, tomatoes, others crash as foreign rice continues to ease off
This report contains information on items that witnessed price increase, price decrease, as well as information on special markets and insights.
It appears Nigerians are in for good times in the new year, as the price of bags of local and foreign rice, onions, pepper, tomatoes, amongst others recorded a significant drop in price.
This is according to the latest market survey, carried out by Nairalytics Research – the research arm of Nairametrics.
The survey revealed that the price of a 50kg bag of locally produced rice dipped by 6.4% from an average of N25,375 recorded in December to an average of N23,750 while a bag of foreign rice of the same size now sells for an average of N24,500 as against an initial average of N26,125.
Also, the price of a bag of dry onions dropped by 77.5% to sell for an average of N21,500 compared to an initial average of N95,500 while the price of new onions crashed by 74.6% to sell for an average of 16,500.
This report contains information on items that witnessed price increase, price decrease, as well as information on special markets and insights.
Items that witnessed price increase
- A big bag of melon that was sold for an average of N43,500 in December now sells for an average of N45,000. This represents an increase of 3.45% in three weeks.
- A nylon of crayfish now sells for an average of N14,250, representing an increase of 9.6% compared to an initial average of N13,000.
- The price of a big tuber of yam spiked by 31.2% to sell for an average of N1,000 as against an initial average of N763.
- Also, a medium-sized tuber of yam now sells for an average of N588, indicating an increase of 11.9% compared to an initial average of N525.
- A big basket of sweet potatoes that was sold for an initial average of N5,500, witnessed an increase of 9.1% to sell for an average of N6,000.
- The price of a small-sized basket increased by 3.6% to sell for an average of N727 from an initial average of N700.
- Also, a big basket of Irish potatoes now sells for an average of 25,000 as against an initial average of N20,000. This represents an increase of 25% in three weeks.
Items that witnessed price decrease
- A big basket of round shaped tomatoes that was sold for an average of N15,000 in December, now sells for an average of N6,500. This represents a price decrease of 56.7% in three weeks.
- Also, the price of a medium-sized basket of round shaped tomatoes reduced by 64.7% to sell for an average of N3,000 as against an initial average of N8,500.
- A big bag of pepper now sells for an average of N7,750. This is 61.3% lower than an average of N20,000 recorded in December while a medium-sized bag currently sells for an average of N3,750 as opposed to an initial average of N10,000.
- A 50kg bag of brown beans currently sells for an average of N30,000, representing a 27.7% decline in price compared to an initial average of N41,500.
- The price of a 10kg bag of Mama Gold rice dipped by 8.3% to sell for an average of N4,400 compared to an initial average of N4,800.
- Also, a 50kg bag of Royal Stallion rice that was initially sold for an average of N26,125 now sells for an average of N24,500 while Mama Gold rice of the same size sells for an average of N24,875 as against an initial average of 26,125.
- The price of a carton of full chicken recorded a marginal decrease of 0.29% to sell for an average of N14,125 compared to an initial average of N14,167.
- A big bag of Bush mango seeds (Ogbono) that was sold for an average of N115,000 during Christmas festivity, now sells for an average of N105,000. This represents a price decrease of 8.7%.
Items that maintained initial prices
- A crate of eggs continues to sell for an average of N1,200, the same as recorded in December.
- A big bag of yellow maize is still sold for an average of N20,167, while a bag of white maize costs an average of N20,000.
- A bag of yellow maize sells for an average of N23,333, the same as recorded in December, while white maize of the same size still sells for an average of N23,167.
- A 50kg bag of Honey well and Mama Gold flour sells for N13,950 and N13,850 respectively, while a bag of Dangote flour sells for an average of N13,750.
- Horse fish (Kote) and Titus fish still sell for an average of N613 and 638 respectively across markets in Lagos.
- A 50kg bag of garri (Ijebu) still sells for an average of N14,375, while white and yellow garri sell for an average of N10,750 and N11,125 respectively.
- Amongst the list of food items that maintained their initial prices include: noodles, beverages, cocoa drinks, sugar, water, and juice.
- A 12.5kg cylinder of cooking gas is filled for an average of N3,975, while a 5kg cylinder is filled for an average of N1,750.
- Several customers were sighted at Mile-12 market negotiating and transacting with traders at different units of the market as the prices of most food items recorded a significant decline in price compared to the just-concluded year.
- In an interview with a tomato seller at Mushin market, Mr. Bala, explained that the decline in the price of tomatoes is due to seasonal fluctuations and increased supply of the food item.
- He stated that there has been a huge amount of harvest during this period, which has caused an increased supply of tomatoes coming from the north, and as a result driving the price of the commodity downwards. He however mentioned that oval-shaped tomatoes are not currently in the market, only round-shaped tomatoes were harvested and supplied to the market.
- The price of foreign rice has continued to witness a significant decrease in the past four weeks, largely due to the reopening of some land borders across the country. Also, the price of locally produced rice trickled down last week due to the new influx of foreign rice.
- According to our correspondent at Daleko market, Mrs. Oladayo, she explained that foreign-made rice is of two types for each of the brands, long and short. A 50kg of the long grain of rice sells for an average of N24,000 in the market, while the bag of short grains sells for an average of N24,000.
- Although, a 50kg bag of Big Bull rice sells for an of N24,000 some Nigerian made rice are now selling for as low as N18,000 and N17,000. She however warned that some of these brands are quite stony. For example, Zainab rice sells for an average of N17,000 at Daleko market.
- In an interactive session with an Onion seller at Mile-12 market, it was revealed that the reason for the significant nosedive in the price of onions was due to bountiful harvest towards the end of December.
- According to Muhammed, he said this is a period for onion harvest and it is only normal for the price to decline, although it seemed like a significant decline due to the irregular hike witnessed in the price of onions last year as a result of some string of events, such as insecurity, lack of harvest, etc.
- He further mentioned that the reduction in the price of onions is a very positive development for the year, considering the hardship experienced by many Nigerians during the past year.
- “We are happy that the price of onions and other food items have dropped in recent times and we hope it continues this way, because the lesser the price, the more customers are likely to buy,” He added.
- In a bid to understand the cause of the increase in the price of potatoes, Mr. Audu explained to Nairalytics that the price of potatoes increased due to the effect of seasonal fluctuations.
|Items||Brand||Unit||MUSHIN (7/1/2021)||DALEKO (7/1/2021)||OYINGBO (7/1/2021)||MILE 12 (7/1/2021)||Average||MUSHIN (17/12/2020)||DALEKO (17/12/2020)||OYINGBO (17/12/2020)||MILE 12 (17/12/2020)||Average|
|Bag of Rice||Mama Gold||10kg||4400||4200||4500||4500||4400||4600||4800||4800||5000||4800|
|Bag of Rice||Royal Stallion||50Kg||25000||24000||25000||24000||24500||26000||25500||26000||27000||26125|
|Bag of Rice||Rice Master||10kg||NA||4300||4300||5000||NA||4500||4750|
|Bag of Rice||Mama Gold||50kg||25000||24000||24500||26000||24875||26000||25500||26000||27000||26125|
|Bag of Rice||Caprice||50kg||25000||22000||24000||25000||24000||26000||25500||26000||27000||26125|
|Bag of Rice||Mama's Pride||50kg||23000||24000||24000||24000||23750||25500||25000||25000||26000||25375|
|Bag of Beans||Oloyin||50kg||20000||21000||20000||20333.333333333||20000||21000||21000||20000||20500|
|Bag of Beans||White||50kg||40000||45000||43000||42666.666666667||40000||43000||45000||43000||42750|
|Bag of Beans||Brown||50kg||32000||30000||30000||28000||30000||43000||38000||42000||43000||41500|
|Tuber of Yam||Abuja||1 Big Size Tuber||1000||900||1100||1000||1000||800||750||700||800||762.5|
|Tuber of Yam||Abuja||1 Medium Size Tuber||550||600||550||650||587.5||550||500||550||500||525|
|Carton of Noodles||Indomie||305g (Belle full)||3200||3250||3300||3300||3262.5||3200||3250||3300||3300||3262.5|
|Carton of Noodles||Indomie||200g (Hungry man)||3200||3200||3200||3200||3200||3200||3200||3200||3200||3200|
|Carton of Noodles||Chikki||100g||2200||2200||2100||2300||2200||2200||2200||2100||2300||2200|
|Carton of Noodles||Minimie||70g||1900||1750||1700||1800||1787.5||1900||1750||1700||1800||1787.5|
|Carton of Noodles||Golden Penny||70g||1700||1500||1600||1600||1600||1700||1500||1600||1600||1600|
|Bag of Garri||Ijebu||80kg||14500||14000||14500||14500||14375||14500||14000||14500||14500||14375|
|Bag of Garri||White||50kg||10500||11000||11000||10500||10750||10500||11000||11000||10500||10750|
|Bag of Garri||Yellow||50kg||11000||11000||11500||11000||11125||11000||11000||11500||11000||11125|
|Basket of Potato||Sweet||Big Basket||6000||6000||5500||5500|
|Basket of Potato||Sweet||Small Basket||700||750||725||700||700||700|
|Basket of Potato||sweet||Smallest Basket||400||300||350||400||250||325|
|Basket of Potato||Irish||Biggest Basket||25000||25000||25000||20000||20000||20000|
|Basket of Potato||Irish||Medium Basket||2600||2600||2500||2500|
|Basket of Potato||Irish||Small Basket||1700||1600||1650||1700||1500||1600|
|Packet of Pasta||Golden Penny||500g||4400||4400||4300||4200||4325||4400||4400||4300||4200||4325|
|Packet of Pasta||Dangote||500g||4200||4300||4300||4300||4275||4200||4300||4300||4300||4275|
|Packet of Pasta||Power (1 pc)||500g||250||230||250||230||240||250||230||250||230||240|
|Packet of Pasta||Bonita (1 pc)||500g||220||230||230||220||225||220||230||230||220||225|
|Gallon of Palm Oil||Local||5 Litres||2700||2600||2800||2600||2675||2700||2600||2800||2600||2675|
|Gallon of Palm Oil||Local||25 Litres||13000||13000||13000||13000||13000||13000||13000||13000||13000||13000|
|Gallon of Vegetable Oil||Local||5 Litres||3400||3400||3500||3400||3425||3400||3400||3500||3400||3425|
|Gallon of Vegetable Oil||Local||25 Litres||16000||17000||17000||16500||16625||16000||17000||17000||16500||16625|
|Gallon of Vegetable Oil||Kings||5 Litres||3200||3000||3000||2800||3000||3200||3000||3000||2800||3000|
|Gallon of Vegetable Oil||Wesson||5 Litres||4500||3900||3900||4300||4150||4500||3900||3900||4300||4150|
|Gallon of Vegetable Oil||Mamador||3.8 Litres||2500||2450||2500||2800||2562.5||2500||2450||2500||2800||2562.5|
|Gallon of Vegetable Oil||Power||3 Litres||1900||1800||1800||2200||1925||1900||1800||1800||2200||1925|
|Bunch of Plaintain||Plantain||1 Big Bunch||500||600||500||600||550||500||600||500||600||550|
|Bag of Flour||Dangote||50kg||13600||13600||13800||14000||13750||13600||13600||13800||14000||13750|
|Bag of Flour||Honey well||50Kg||14000||13600||14000||14200||13950||14000||13600||14000||14200||13950|
|Bag of Flour||Mama Gold||50kg||13800||13600||14000||14000||13850||13800||13600||14000||14000||13850|
|Milk||Peak Powdered (Tin)||400g||1200||1300||1200||1250||1237.5||1200||1300||1200||1250||1237.5|
|Milk||Peak milk (Refill)||500g||1200||1100||1200||1200||1175||1200||1100||1200||1200||1175|
|Milk||Dano Powdered (Tin)||500g||1200||1200||1100||1200||1175||1200||1200||1100||1200||1175|
|Milk||Loya Powdered (Tin)||400g||1000||1100||1100||1050||1062.5||1000||1100||1100||1050||1062.5|
|Cocoa Beverages||Milo (Tin)||500g||1500||1450||1500||1450||1475||1500||1450||1500||1450||1475|
|Cocoa Beverages||Milo (Tin)||1kg||2500||2450||2400||2500||2462.5||2500||2450||2400||2500||2462.5|
|Cocoa Beverages||Milo Refill||500g||1100||1100||1000||1100||1075||1100||1100||1000||1100||1075|
|Cocoa Beverages||Bournvita Refill||500g||1300||1300||1200||1300||1275||1300||1300||1200||1300||1275|
|Cocoa Beverages||Bournvita (Plastic)||900g||2200||2200||2300||2200||2225||2200||2200||2300||2200||2225|
|Cocoa Beverages||Ovaltine Refill||500g||1000||900||1000||950||962.5||1000||900||1000||950||962.5|
|Tea||Lipton Yellow label||52g||300||290||300||300||297.5||300||290||300||300||297.5|
|Sugar||St' Louis Sugar(Cube)||500g||600||600||600||550||587.5||600||600||600||550||587.5|
|Sugar||Golden Penny Sugar (cube)||500g||400||350||400||400||387.5||400||350||400||400||387.5|
|Bottled Water (Refill)||Cway||Refill||600||650||600||600||612.5||600||650||600||600||612.5|
|Juice||5 Alive||1 litre||550||550||550||600||562.5||550||550||550||600||562.5|
|Tomatoes||Big Basket||round shaped||6500||6500||15000||15000|
|Tomatoes||Medium Basket||round shaped||3000||3000||8500||8500|
|Tomatoes||Small Basket||round shaped||2500||2500||5500||5500|
|Tomatoes||Big Basket||Oval Shaped||NA||10000||10000|
|Tomatoes||Small Basket||Oval Shaped||NA||6000||6000|
|Fish||Kote (Horse Mackerel)||1 kg||650||600||600||600||612.5||650||600||600||600||612.5|
|Fish||Titus (Mackerel)||1 kg||600||650||650||650||637.5||600||650||650||650||637.5|
|Onions||Big bag||Dry Onions||26000||17000||21500||94000||97000||95500|
|Onions||Big bag||New Onions||20000||13000||16500||65000||65000||65000|
|Bush mango seed||(Ogbono)||1 big bag||105000||105000||115000||115000|
|Frozen food||Full chicken||Carton||14000||14500||14000||14000||14125||14500||14000||14000||14166.666666667|
|Frozen food||Chicken lap||Carton||13500||14000||14000||14000||13875||14000||14000||14000||14000|
About Nairametrics Food Price Survey
Nairametrics Food Price Watch is a bi-weekly Household Market Survey that covers the prices of major food items in Nigeria, with emphasis on five major markets in Lagos – Mushin market, Daleko market, Oyingbo market, Idi-Oro market, and Mile 12 market.
FG borrows N2.8 trillion from CBN via Ways and Means
To fund the 2020 budget, FG borrowed N2.8 trillion from CBN
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) backstopped a total of N2.8 trillion in support loans to the Federal Government in 2020. This follows the FG’s failure to meet its revenue targets due to the impact of the fall in oil prices and covid-19 pandemic.
The support came in the form of Ways and Means, a provision in the CBN act that allows the government to borrow from the Apex Bank. Provisions in the act cap monetary financing of fiscal deficits at 5% of the prior year’s revenues.
This information was made known by the Minister for Finance Zainab Ahmed during a public presentation of the 2021 FGN Approved Budget – Breakdown & Highlights which was done via Zoom, an online platform for virtual meetings.
According to the information contained in the report, the central bank provided financial support to the tune of N2.8 trillion which the government used to fund its budget expenditure. In the breakdown seen by Nairametrics, out of the 2020 budget deficit of N6.1 trillion, N2 trillion was sourced from domestic borrowing and another N1.2 trillion from foreign borrowing. The rest was via Ways and Means.
Breakdown of the data
In her presentation, the minister said out of the N5.3 trillion in budgeted revenue, only N3.9 trillion was generated as actual, resulting in a 27% revenue shortfall for the year.
- However, in terms of expenditure, while N9.97 trillion was appropriated, N10.08 trillion (representing 101%) was spent during the year.
- The shortfall in revenues and increased spending resulted in an actual deficit spending of N6.1 trillion as against N4.6 trillion budgeted during the year
- Nigeria also increased its debt service from N2.9 trillion to N3.2 trillion. Interest on Ways and Means totaling N912.5 billion contributed significantly to the cost.
The government’s Ways and Means financing was brought to public view in 2016 after the former CBN Government Sanusi Lamido Sanusi accused the government of contravening the CBN Act by borrowing more than the required 5% of prior year revenues. Nairametrics dimensioned this matter in a 2016 article.
- At N2.8 trillion, the CBN basically lent the government 52.8% of its current year revenues or 62.2% of 2019 revenues of N4.5 trillion.
- This appears to violate the CBN Act which states that the outstanding amount should not exceed 5% of prior years’ actual revenue.
- The provision also requires that the loans are repaid at the end of the year or else the CBN will no longer be able to lend to the government in the following year.
- It is unclear if the loans have been repaid or will be repaid prior to the implementation of the 2021 budget.
The year 2020 was an exceptional year globally due to the Covid-19 pandemic and expectedly impacted government revenues negatively due to the lockdown and the fall in oil prices. Without the central bank backstopping these loans, it might have been practically impossible for the government to fund its expenditure programs for 2020.
Short-stay apartments record boom, amid COVID-19 second wave fears
As most hospitality businesses suffer due to the adverse effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, short-stay apartments seem to be witnessing a boom.
2020 has been a devastating year for the Nigerian economy, especially the hospitality industry, with hundreds of people laid-off and salaries of some workers slashed.
Interestingly, as the big-wigs in the industry continue to grapple with the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on their patronage, smaller boutique hotels (short stay apartments) are witnessing a boom during the Yuletide season.
While the average price of 1-bedroom flat short-let in Lagos is N35,000 per day, the most expensive flat costs N80,000 per day.
Their location, especially in Lagos is also an attraction to their patrons, with range of choices from Ikeja, the state capital; high-class areas like Magodo; Chevron Drive, Lekki Phase 1; Oniru, Victoria Island; to Surulere areas of the nation’s commercial hub.
Expensive but safer, flexible and functional – Patrons
Akinwole Adekoya, who is based in Qatar, United Arab Emirate (UAE), is one of the patrons of the short-let apartments in Lagos.
According to him, he usually visits his family every Yuletide season but had to stay at one of the apartments close to Lagoon School, Lekki Phase 1, where he pays N80,000 per day.
Before he chose the apartment, he told Nairametrics that he saw an apartment where he was asked to pay N450,000 per calendar month off Marwa within the same area, which he rejected.
“Though, some people may think it’s expensive but I prefer it because it is safer compared to the conventional hotels, where you don’t know the Covid-19 status of people around you.
“I decided to stay at the apartment because I needed to isolate myself for about two weeks in order to keep my family safe. The room is just like home-from-home experience, as I have everything to myself including the kitchen.
“Even before COVID-19, I use them whenever I go to Abuja, largely because of their privacy feature. While cheaper hotels are accessible, I prefer the apartments due to their home away from home feel.”
Abuja based Engineer who craved anonymity, prefer the apartments around Oniru, VI; and Magodo Phase II, anytime he is in Lagos because of special features like privacy, functionality, flexibility, and comfort of a high-end home, along with the efficiency of hotel services.
“Some of them have increased their rates to stay in business, especially during the pandemic. The last time I came to Lagos for four days, I first checked an apartment on Airport Road, which had gone up from N20,000 to N30,000.
“I finally chose one at Magodo Phase II, which had also increased from N15,000 to N20,000. That is because of the serenity of the environment and the incentives they offered. They dry cleaned my clothes for three days free of charge and I have decided to use the facility anytime I am in Lagos.”
These patrons are only two out of hundreds of Nigerians that preferred the services of the short-let apartment due to the flexibility, amongst other functionalities.
Revenue is steady, ticking up and good investors
Olajide Abiola, Co-founder and CEO, Smart Residences Ltd, operating as Gidanka, told Nairametrics that despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the revenue generated from the apartments has been steady because of the excellent service reputation earned within the short period.
According to him, Gidanka has facilities across four neighborhoods in Abuja cityspace, Lagos and still counting.
He said, “There has been steady uptake and about 30% to 70% month-on-month growth since January 2020, when an additional 28 space units were added. The revenue is steady, ticking up and good.
“Revenues are made from nightly, weekly, and monthly room rates. We will be cash flow positive before the 4th quarter of 2020, even in the face of COVID-19. Out of the debt raised, 65% has been offset within seven months, which is five months ahead of the moratorium.”
On the source of fund, he told Nairametrics that his company secured N1.07 billion in seed funding, and have been able to lease out properties in four neighborhoods, to provide 86 unique spaces in about a year.
“We have hosted travelers from over 12 countries, and have paid over 70% of the loan. Interestingly, in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, our spaces have seen steady patronage because of the excellent service reputation earned within the short period.”
Another investor in the industry, Lekan Okueyungbo, who owns apartments in Maryland and manages another in Lekki (Chevron axis) for a friend, explained that traditional hotels with their limited spaces birthed the increasing demand for the services of the short-stay apartments.
He said, “This is an emerging industry across major commercial cities in Nigeria because the investors ensure the apartments are positioned in new and fascinating locations.
“From my observations, the demand for our services increased especially during COVID-19 pandemic/lockdown. About three of my friends that said the business is not lucrative pre-COVID called me and asked if I could help manage or consult for them.
“Most of our rooms are fully booked sometimes for days. Sometimes, customers book a day or two ahead just to be assured of a room whenever they need one.”
What you should know
- Last September, Nairametrics reported that the rise of the short-stay apartments and boutique hotels also points to their profitable business models and financial viability.
- An operator in a hotel located on Victoria Island informed Nairametrics that apart from the initial one-month lockdown in April 2020, occupancy rates have picked up to pre-pandemic levels.
- In another hotel in Lekki, the owner told Nairametrics that his major challenge was not having enough rooms. “I wish I could purchase the adjacent building and expand my operations. I lose money I would have easily earned because I have to refer my customers to other hotels,” he remarked.