Despite facing numerous challenges, manufacturing companies of all types and sizes have found great success in Nigeria on the back of government support and smart investments.

Felix Ofungwu

Executive Director, ISN Medical

Our slogan is “be sure.” This connotes that we are in the business of ensuring that there is no misdiagnosis of patients. We provide the products used to conduct medical diagnostic tests, including equipment, consumables, and test kits that patients themselves can use. Everything we provide is geared toward ensuring proper diagnoses. We are in the business of saving lives by giving healthcare practitioners the tools they need to diagnose medical conditions properly and get their patients the right treatment. We are a full-service distributor in the sense that we not only supply the products, but also provide installation, training, and complete after-sales support. Part of our competitive advantage lies in our highly skilled staff. We invest heavily in training. Outside of our commercial and product specialists, we have a whole cadre of scientists and biomedical engineers. We have 35 at the moment who receive training in Europe, South Africa, the UAE, and Asia. We invest heavily in this because we see it as a major competitive advantage.

Sahir Berry

CEO, Afrione

Contec has been in operation for close to 40 years in Africa, and more recently in Asia and the Middle East, with interests in various fields ranging from agriculture, secure identity, gaming, technology, and mobile payments. The latter is our focus now through NowNow, our payment platform. We started in April 2018 and have grown exponentially, averaging around 40% per month. The idea is to subsidize phone costs as much as possible so we can generate revenue around the phone ecosystem rather than the handset itself. NowNow enables that. We have about 10,000 agents across Nigeria and are focusing on the end user. Nigeria has an extremely young population, where almost 50% is under 25. Out of those, 50% are unemployed. Smartphone penetration in Nigeria is low, which means the market will grow in years to come. This is why we also decided to start manufacturing smart phones in Nigeria. We decided to do product development and research. We still buy all of our components from China but assemble them in Nigeria.

Paul Adedoyin Odunaiya

Managing Director, Wemy Industry

We are pioneers in the hygiene industry because we have a forward-thinking mindset. Nigeria has a large population with one of the highest birth rates in the world. On top of that, maternity death rates are high in this part of the world, and poor hygiene is one of the reasons for it. Our products try to solve that problem by providing nurses and mothers with products that improve the hygiene of mother and child. We are leading the sector in Nigeria because we provide modern solutions to aspiring women in the country. We sell to retailers as well as large supermarkets such as Shoprite. We also sell directly to large hospitals. Moving forward, we also want to partner with the government. In 1Q2020, we expect to close a second tranche of investments from private equity investors. By end-2020, we will be the leading manufacturers of adult diapers and wipes and the second leading baby diaper manufacturer in the country. In 2020, we will double our current size today, as we expect 100% growth in terms of overall revenue.

A.K. Mirchandani

Chairman, Sona Group

We received 500ha of land from the Ogun state government to increase agricultural production using a hybrid system. We are building a 420-ton refinery in Ogun state to help Nigeria achieve self-sufficiency. We are looking at making Nigeria sustainable; however, we need 250 tons of soil every day to achieve that. We also need to diversify into areas other than agriculture. We have a malt extract plant that is 100% based on local raw material. The government is introducing new policies, and we are being encouraged to build a second plant and increase capacity. At present, we purchase 60,000 tons of sorghum from local farmers, and once the second plant is up and running, we will need more farmers to fulfill our demand. This bodes well for Nigeria's economy. At Sona Group, we are extremely mindful of the environment. We have an influent treatment plant. In 2019, we reprocessed over 10,000 tons of garbage and utilized 100% of the processed material. We also have four plastic recycling plants. The government must place heavier penalties on those polluting the environment.

Taiwo Adeniyi

Group ManaGing Director & CEO, Vitafoam

The quantum leap in our performance in recent times is attributable to improved access to finance and internal efficiency, among other factors. In 2016, businesses in Nigeria did not enjoy easy access to finance, especially for a company like Vitafoam that imported 80% of its raw materials. We have embarked on massive expansion, adding several subsidiaries including Vitavisco, Vitablom, Vitagreen, Vitapur, Vitafoam Sierra Leone, and Vitafoam Ikeja, which is our head office. In Nigeria, we have a presence in Kano Jos, Aba, and Ikeja. We basically cover the entire country. With the prevailing market dynamics and circumstances making equity financing inadvisable, we approached the Bank of Industry for funding in 2017 and secured working capital of NGN2 billion. Then in 1Q2018, the government changed its forex policy, giving us the opportunity to buy raw materials cheaper. We also introduced a home delivery service for online purchases of our mattresses. By restructuring our business to gradually move away from distributorships to online retail, we attracted more customers.

Bilal Sulaiman

General Manager, Monaplex

We have been in Nigeria for the past 40 years and are the first producers of spare plastic automotive parts in the country. We make all sorts of plastic products, but our focus is on chairs and tables, household items, and automotive spare parts. We are number one in Nigeria for automotive spare parts due to the quality of our products. We provide an OEM service where we produce the product itself and let other people brand it as their own. At present, we are working on acquiring ISO certifications. We have a lab to test our quality on a daily basis. Monaplex is known for its top-quality products, and we do not compromise on quality. We raise funds through government loan schemes such as BOI, debt funding, and equity funding from our shareholders. BOI provides loans with single-digit interest rate to help manufacturers and SMEs grow and invest in the country. Our main goal is to grow our factory as much as possible. We want to introduce items and designs that have never been produced in Nigeria. We are looking at expanding in a significant way and are already working on this expansion.

George Jabbour

CEO & Managing Director, Afrifab Steel Limited

We started by providing the Nigerian market with transit and static steel structures. We have the necessary machineries for that purpose. We started producing first for Abuja and then expanded into the Nigerian market as a whole. In 2017, we added the pre-engineered building production line. This gave us a large competitive advantage in terms of lower production costs. Almost 90% of our inputs are sourced locally. The Nigerian market is becoming more quality oriented. Our added value comes firstly from producing customized items that have never been produced before in Nigeria. Second, we seek to match international quality. Acquiring ISO certification is our target for 2020. The biggest challenge we face at Afrifab Steel Limited is a lack of quality raw materials. At present, we cannot export because of our high prices. We can only produce for the local market. Our priority is to establish a presence in Lagos because that is where the private sector is. In addition, Lagos has a much-improved infrastructure. Our objective is to maintain our base in Abuja and move our main activities to Lagos.