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Could Walmart be coming to Nigeria? Ambode Meets With Executives

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Walmart and Lagos

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State on Thursday pledged his commitment to creating an enabling environment for investors as a way of creating jobs for youths in the State while receiving a delegation of Walmart Incorporated, a leading global brand in retail supermarket.

He said that the state was ready to give necessary support to assist investors in establishing presence in the state.

According to him, the presence of the brand in Lagos will go a long way, not only to create jobs for teeming youths, but also boost the economy of the state.

He said that the success story of the brand, which currently operates in 28 countries with over 2.2 million employees, would be beneficial to the growth of the state.

The governor said it would also help in actualizing his vision to make life comfortable for residents.

“That summarizes the reason Walmart has to berth in Lagos. We are committed to expanding the business scope for Walmart and like I said, I am interested in having your brand signature in Lagos. You have been pro-people and that is why we find a congress between the objectives of Walmart and Lagos State Government.

We have a population of over 21 million people and four million of that population is in the middle class. We have a bulging youth that is craving for employment.

And whatever it is that we do, we want to make sure that we attract as much investment in Lagos that can help us to take our youths off the streets and give them employment.

What I stand here to offer is the commitment to make the investment climate favourable to investors and we are committed to the judicial and security sector reforms.

These reforms will ensure that investments are well protected and that the sanctity of law is protected in this state.

I want to assure that in the area of land permits or authorisation for issues that relate to setting up business, we are committed to make sure that we fast-track and do it as transparent as possible to allow more businesses come to Lagos, ” he said.

Shelley Broader, President and Chief Executive Officer of Walmart Europe, Middle East, Africa and Canada, acknowledged the investment opportunities that abound in the state.

Broader said that the Group was ready to expand its business horizon and create jobs for the people.

”We are incredibly excited and proud to be in this exciting state of Lagos. Just looking at the burgeoning economy and at the growth in this market is very exciting.

”Walmart operates around the world in 28 countries and our mission is to lower the cost of living, to help people save and live better,” she said.

Photo Credit: Business Day

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) was established by the Federal Government of Nigeria in May 1976 to gather and distribute news on Nigeria and cover events of interest to Nigeria at the international level for the benefit of the Nigerian Media and the Public.

45 Comments

  1. deb

    July 30, 2015 at 6:06 pm

    I will be so glad. No more paying so muchh for delivery

    • Wale

      July 30, 2015 at 8:20 pm

      Didn’t Walmart buy the parent company of shoprite(or is it game stores? )in South Africa a couple of years ago? If so, then they are technically in Nigeria.

    • The Reader

      July 30, 2015 at 10:14 pm

      Not quite.. Walmart acquired Massmart, a competitor to Shoprite. Shoprite is currently beating Walmart hand down due its readiness to take on risk, expand to new markets and work with local expertise. Walmart wishes it were Shoprite (in Africa).

    • Julles

      August 1, 2015 at 6:34 pm

      U r right. Walmart IS already in Nigeria. They have a higher percentage of shares in Massmart group which is a South African based company with different branches like GAME, Valumart which has like 4 stores in Lagos already, Builder’s Warehouse, Foodco etc. The man standing beside the lady is Guy Howard who is the head Massmart Group. More stores are in the pipeline for Lagos in the coming year hence the visit.

      All those people saying No Walmart better wake up from their slumber cos they’re here already. There are 3 GAME stores in Lagos, Enugu and Kano with Valumart in Lagos for now so expect some more.

      P.S. I know all this cos I work with GAME, Nigeria!

    • Julles

      August 1, 2015 at 6:41 pm

      @Wale,
      U r right. Walmart IS already in Nigeria. They have a higher percentage of shares in Massmart group which is a South African based company with different branches like GAME, Valumart which has like 4 stores in Lagos already, Builder’s Warehouse, Foodco etc. The man standing beside the lady is Guy Howard who is the head Massmart Group. More stores are in the pipeline for Lagos in the coming year hence the visit.

      All those people saying No Walmart better wake up from their slumber cos they’re here already. There are 3 GAME stores in Lagos, Enugu and Kano with Valumart in Lagos for now so expect some more.

      As for Walmart wishing it was Shoprite, u aren’t far from the truth. We wish so too cos that would create more opportunities for growth and employment in Nigeria. But there’s no disputing they are here already.

      P.S. I know all this cos I work with GAME, Nigeria!

    • Retail Guru

      August 10, 2015 at 7:36 pm

      Yes technically you are right. Walmart’ is the parent company to Massmart who own various retail brands such as Makro, DionWired, Builders Warehouse and many, many more including the GAME brand. Walmart therefore has technically been in Nigeria since 2011, and currently have 3 GAME brand stores with Abuja due to open before the end of the year and Sangotedo to follow next year. They also have 4 ValuMart branded stores on the mainland.

  2. Anon

    July 30, 2015 at 6:16 pm

    Nice, but urmm…. please remember to ask for better pay and full benefits and full time schedules (they pay minimum wage, no health insurance, no full-time schedules here in the US, thus they are under a lot of fire for those and other practices). Well, who am I to look a gift horse in the mouth, just trying to make sure its not a Trojan horse , Eko O ni baje o 😀

    • No Walmart

      July 31, 2015 at 3:28 pm

      Exactly. Trust nigerian leaders not to use their brain, common sense but be interested in their own benefits. Maybe the percentage they will personally make from it. We need to protest against this. #Saynotowalmart#
      Ambode, if you are smart as you claim, you should know this will be the worst business move for Lagos and the whole Nigeria.

      If there’s ever a company like Walmart in Nigeria, it better be a nigerian owned manufacturer/business. I hate large retail corporations bcos the disadvantage is worst than advantage. And it might work for places like china, or U.S but not Nigeria. And even in the states, they are faced with big problems. And why make the richest, richer. Enough

  3. dupsy

    July 30, 2015 at 6:23 pm

    That is very good for the Naija people. E don pari for all the boutique owners in Lagos who come here to buy Walmart stuff to sell in Naija. Walmart is like a dragon in the retail world, they don’t just call them the blue giant for nothing! Everywhere they have opened their stores in America and Canada, all the other retailers have vanished and packed up their stores! It will be good for jobs for people in Lagos and people will have better stuff at good prices. Good thinking on the part of Lagos government!

    • ZamZam

      July 30, 2015 at 7:30 pm

      but how many jobs can Walmart create vs eliminate????? Yes, they will create jobs but no more than 300 jobs. meanwhile, thousands of petty traders/ suppliers will lose jobs/market. Walmart doesn’t source goods locally, na china & south east Asian goods go full naija. oh well, lagosians kuku like anything foreign. RIP to sam the stationery seller & munirat the bendown seller. market go spoil, when walmart competes with their goods.

    • We The Nigerian People!

      July 30, 2015 at 7:34 pm

      Are you kidding me?!!! Walmart is going to wipeout all other small businesses! You will NOT be able to open a small grocery or other related business because of walmart. This NOT good for people who want to create wealth for themselves and their future generation, because walmart is a big corporation, all the profit goes to ONE family, the Waltons! Google that name! They don’t like to pay their employees well, so that they can keep all the profit! This in the long run is regretable. You should watch a youtube video of the effect of Walmart to the American small business environment and come back to make an informed statement! BTW, some cities in the U.S refuse them to open big stores because of the anti-competition practice., Chicago is one of them.

    • STOPwalmartInAfrica

      July 30, 2015 at 9:44 pm

      please Pittsburgh, parts of NY state, Portland, boston, seattle, Cambridge, LA to that list. that shameless company gets pushback from a lot of American cities.

      Walmart is mainly king in the south, smh!!! shameless company

  4. Hmmm

    July 30, 2015 at 6:33 pm

    Oh not Walmart. The economy destroyer. They create jobs all right. Minimum wage jobs and use bargaining power to push support prices down. It’s like indentured servitude. They should not come to Lagos abeg.

  5. Funmi

    July 30, 2015 at 6:39 pm

    This is bad news. Hope they dont make it into Nigeria.

  6. sOLO ACT

    July 30, 2015 at 6:57 pm

    i am waiting for rich nigerians to start taking pics infront of walmart like it is some ghen ghen store! this is the same store that has soo many lawsuits in america for unfair wages!

  7. el patron

    July 30, 2015 at 7:05 pm

    hmmmmm… why are we throwing our money to the west..these are guys are the richest people in the world, we wanna make them richer.
    when we can make our own people richer, same concept by somebody from naiia, more export from the west more money for the west.
    one day! one day! we shall overcome from mental slavery.

    • June

      July 30, 2015 at 8:24 pm

      PREACHHHHHHH!!!!

    • nene

      July 31, 2015 at 8:47 am

      nigerians and african needs to stand up and stop allowing these epopel come in. most of the nice grocery stores are not even owned by nigerians, they are owned by lebanese. where are our business men? busy investing in oil and gas, instead of farming and grocery stores.

    • Phioye

      July 31, 2015 at 7:12 pm

      We re not investing in the business, they re coming into the country to invest and they will be forced to get material locally as the Shoprite is getting from Nigeria. That is why we have trade ministry and Labour Ministry

  8. D

    July 30, 2015 at 8:15 pm

    Am excited yet another part of me want to scream NO….till the rich wake up and invest in naija not oppress with their little change then let them keep coming ….waiting for DSW.

    • deb

      July 30, 2015 at 10:29 pm

      Yes I want DSW badly. I always wish to buy the Nigerian franchise if possible.

  9. Truth

    July 30, 2015 at 8:19 pm

    This will not benefit our economy in anyway. It will affect SMEs negatively. I hope they don’t come.

  10. Becca

    July 30, 2015 at 8:31 pm

    We don’t need walmart. I would fancy an Ikea tho

  11. Wura

    July 30, 2015 at 8:59 pm

    At first when I saw the article, I was like that’s a great idea. But when I started reading the comments, I actually thought about it. It is a bad bad idea, no way. Like somebody mentioned it will take away all the small business and all the money will be going to Walmart only. I think that is part of our problems as Nigerian sometimes, we make all this fast decisions without thinking about the consequences. American people will dissect, experiment, analyze, and so on their decisions before making a conclusion on it.

  12. Beegirl

    July 30, 2015 at 9:10 pm

    So most people here took the words off my mouth. It’s a very bad idea, walmart wipes out everyone’s business. They basically sell everything small Nigeria businesses sell, if you think of something else different and new they would try to buy you out or outbeat you. Yes some people are going to get jobs out of it, but the employement rate is going to increase more than it is now.

  13. Nikky

    July 30, 2015 at 9:38 pm

    Sad news for all the petty traders in Lagos

  14. I no send

    July 30, 2015 at 10:52 pm

    Nigerians pysche is different o…they will run away like woolworth did….the way we do business in naija is very unique.only Asians and lebanese understand it.

  15. Sunshine

    July 30, 2015 at 11:03 pm

    I wouldnt worry about them opening in Lagos, cus knowing greedy trashmart, they will sell their crappy goods at an expensive price. So small businesses that sell their goods at approriate prices will continue to thrive. Lagos state govt will have to keep an eye on trashmart employee salaries and benefits cuz they are cheap skate. Lets hope the waltsons granddaughter that cheated on the exams will not be involve cus she is a dumb as a wall. We know how she paid a classmate to take all her exams and graduated under false pretence. Than God she was caught and the university revoked her bachelors degree due to fraud.

  16. Delta geh

    July 31, 2015 at 12:26 am

    I don’t think the ordinary iya oloja would be affected cos you cannot get fresher produce than with iya oloja… It would be the little supermarkets that would mostly be affected. They should not let them in sha because we need our people’s businesses to thrive. We don’t need walmart

    • Ready

      July 31, 2015 at 11:56 am

      But who are our people who own small supermarkets? Which ones? Goodies? Foreign owned and they monitor you like a hawk…plus they close at 6 or 7. SPAR? Who knows who owns it? Plus it’s overpriced. Save for Justrite, Addide, etc…which all still need competition particularly in aesthetics and customer service, few ‘supermarkets’ are owned by Nigerians.

      The middle class merchant may suffer losses, but they need far greater competition to up their game. The poor merchants of essential goods will not suffer–it takes more than a fancy building to ask the average Nigerian to leave his/her pepper/onion/whatever basic good seller that’s located in a market. Trust me, read all the retail studies of the Nigerian market out there.
      And there will indeed be more jobs. Who’re we fooling when we say Walmart won’t pay proper wages? How many companies in Nigeria pay proper wages as and when due? Do you know how many companies on the island do not provide workers with healthcare and pension and the likes, even though the employers were educated in the West?

      Re: all their goods come from China. Not so…clothing, maybe? But to be frank, what country at this point does not have the majority of its clothing/technology made in China? Don’t hate the player, step up your infrastructure and investments in technology and human capital.

      In conclusion (whew!) It’s our law enforcement and contract negotiations that must improve (e.g. ensure they follow local content laws, labor laws, etc). While I understand the criticisms, I think it would be wrong to argue against the company’s entry into Nigeria based solely on its record in American cities. Do you hear people complaining in Mexico and other developing countries? No..because if not a better option for reducing unemployment and providing relatively quality products at those price points, it’s at the least a fair deal for developing countries.

      That said, I prefer Target though.

  17. Lola

    July 31, 2015 at 1:23 am

    What on earth do we need walmart for? Another avenue to flood the market with imported goods and drive local competitors out of business?

    Come on Ambode, who are your Economic advisors?

    Unless they will be selling goods made in Nigeria we can definitely do without them.

  18. Iris

    July 31, 2015 at 3:13 am

    This is a terrible idea and I hope it doesn’t work out. They are going to eliminate more jobs than they create. All these American companies that get bad publicity in their countries are now looking for where to run to and expand. I’m shocked McDonald’s hasn’t showed up *hiss*

  19. One Naija!

    July 31, 2015 at 3:31 am

    Please informed Nigerians who are here and everywhere should help to educate the average Nigerian about the negative implications of having a big box store like Walmart in the country!!!! We have to raise hell and get people in the country to oppose this move! It may seem like a good idea, but we all know that “The road to hell is paved with good intentions”. Let’s campaign against the slave drivers, Walmart and the Waltons from opening in Nigeria!

    Please someone start a tweet already! #WeNoWantWalmartInNigeria!!!!!!!

  20. Fleur

    July 31, 2015 at 5:13 am

    Comments about Walmart’s vampire persona are true. But does that mean we completely walk/run away? Walmart if done right can be an income generator for any local economy. simply put, if we want to play with them, they have to play in ways that we approve. Ambode, are you ready? How can you bend them to play in our sandbox according to our rules? Impose a staggered local content requirement for their license. They will need to source most products locally. You can start with 30%, then 50% after 3 years and then 70% after another 3 years, etc. You can cap at 70% and let them play with the international markets. You can also require them to source suppliers from the local communities. Walmart can impose standards under such pressure that will cause us to raise our own standards so that we can have access to their supply chain. Walmart can be made to pay its workers reasonably. If all these terms are presented ahead of time and Walmart decides to swim with us, fine. If not, they can go somewhere else. It all depends on what our government agrees to. E no dey hard for us to take board member position with pay or small cash wey miss road. Can Ambode and his team negotiate hard? THat is the difference. Perhaps if they are in CHina, that is one model you want to thoroughly examine. Now I can tell ya,

  21. cleo

    July 31, 2015 at 7:32 am

    Not excited. Sending our money out to the west again. I hope it does not fall through

  22. Blah Blah

    July 31, 2015 at 7:54 am

    Our so called rich, use chewing gum cover eyes, dey all fold their hands can’t dey establish companies like this. Instead steal money take abroad.mscheWww

    • nene

      July 31, 2015 at 8:48 am

      gbam

  23. Ann

    July 31, 2015 at 9:47 am

    They are not going to be any cheaper in Nigeria, compare the cost of ‘mango’on their UK website and how much their things cost at the Palms Lekki, our Nigerian brothers and sisters won’t let it be any cheaper..anyway, thank God for shoptomydoor and mallforafrica, if they make it to Nigeria and are expensive, i would probably keep buying from their US store if i need stuff from them!

  24. kandy

    July 31, 2015 at 9:55 am

    and minimum wage in Nigeria is 18k… i trust Walmart….

  25. phummie

    July 31, 2015 at 10:08 am

    The building/the store is already been built along lekki epe express way. Sangotedo to be precise…… u can confirm. Stale news sef. They are here……

  26. Laura

    July 31, 2015 at 1:12 pm

    We cant keep playing second fiddle. As far as am concerned, this is not the way to create jobs in Nigeria, less Lagos. Everyone shouldn’t be in retail, please expand the coast so youths can fly……..in whatever direction each sees fit.

  27. Tunmi

    July 31, 2015 at 2:21 pm

    Nooooo. Unless there are some serious considerations in those contracts. What will be the minimum wage? Minimum wage in Naija is not enough to live on. Naija labor lawyers, shine your eyes oh. And the small business owners, oh dear. I’d prefer Also and Ikea. Or homegrown Naija companies, or other Wesf African companies

  28. theecons

    July 31, 2015 at 2:22 pm

    Guys calm down, Nigerians thrive on competition and the only reason why ParknShop/ Spar, Ebeano and even Blenco in Ajah are improving is because of competition from the likes of Shoprite. Everyone will find their levels, even suya men buy their meat from shoprite because the price is right and local butchers smile all the way to the bank!

  29. Phioye

    July 31, 2015 at 7:18 pm

    We are all concerned about our beloved country and treatment of workers. Every market has its peculiarities and shopping patterns of the participants,despite the presence of SPAR, Shoprite and all other retail shops, bobo yibo and mama bola still de sell o, apogbon and balogin still de bring in stuffs.

  30. Sun

    August 9, 2015 at 10:25 pm

    This is such a terrible idea. Wal-Mart will totally destroy our economy. They pay minimum wage plus how many people will they employ. Businesses Will shut down. Government official are constantly making bad decisions. This is not rocket science. Haba!

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