(Sundiata Post) – Over the last two quarters of this year, there has been a significant improvement in the macro-economic situation in Nigeria and, as a result, international and local retailers’ interest in retail malls, including Jabi Lake Mall in Abuja, has been rising.
Until the second quarter of 2017, the real estate sector in Nigeria, especially the retail segment, had been struggling with low activities, falling demand and prices, growing vacancy rate, among others. But with decline in inflation, exchange rate and improvement in other economic indices, the story is now different.
In May, inflation came down to 16.25 per cent year-on-year from 17.24 per cent in April. In June, it dropped 15 basis points to 15. 35 per cent and this represents the fifth consecutive decline since January 2017 when it spiked to 18.72 per cent, the highest rate since 2005.
The intervention by the Central Bank of Nigeria in the forex market resulted in naira appreciation, leading to a significant convergence between rates offered on both the official and parallel markets. At the more accessible parallel market, the naira appreciated by 26 per cent, from a peak of N516/US$ to about N370/US$ as at the close of trading day on Wednesday this week.
All these have, in spite of the lingering recession, impacted on the real estate market including retail. Jabi Lake Mall Abuja has continued to enjoy high foot traffic and extensive retail and commercial activities. In addition to household names such as Shoprite, Game and Silverbird Cinemas, the mall recently welcomed renowned retailers including sports giant – Nike, Levis, Vlisco, Woodin and T.M Lewin, making it a top retail and leisure destination for residents of the Federal Capital, Abuja.
Despite the economic realities, the mall’s premium design, professional staff and proximity to the only major water-body in Abuja has proved attractive to retailers and visitors alike, allowing it enjoy an enviable occupancy rate of 78 percent of the Gross Lettable Area (GLA) and footfall of over 400,000 visitors per month.
Jabi Lake Mall, developed by Actis, a leading private equity investor in growth markets and Duval Limited, opened its doors in November 2015 and has created hundreds of employment and skills acquisition opportunities for Nigerians.
The mall was developed to tap into the buying power of Abuja’s estimated 68,000 households with annual expenditure of over $150,000 per household. With a rapidly growing population of 2.2 million, Abuja is said to be a very strong market comprising A and B level consumers which underpins the residents’ potential buying power. The Federal Capital Territory is also touted to have the highest per capital income in the whole of Nigeria.
Tolu Sokenu, a principal at Actis, disclosed in a statement obtained by BusinessDay that, as part of efforts to boost activities and retain its competitive edge, Jabi Lake Mall will be partnering with the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) and the Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC) to host this year’s Zuma Film festival in December.
”The Zuma Film Festival assembles the brightest stars and stakeholders in Nollywood. The festival is billed to hold in Abuja between December 1 and 5, with rich components of robust film master classes, workshops, NFC annual film lecture, film market and exhibition, opening and closing ceremonies, with red carpet and awards night capping the entire event”, adding, “the mall remains alive to its mission to be the most attractive retail and leisure destination in Abuja”. (BusinessDay)