The Edo State Government has advanced strategies to attract investors in recent years, promising favorable policies and infrastructure to turn the state into an investor’s paradise. As a result, the Edo State Investment Promotion Office (ESIPO) was established, as well as support for the development of investment-friendly infrastructure.
According to the findings, at least 30 standard-sized retail firms have opened for operation in Benin City during the fourth quarter of 2021, demonstrating the sector’s growth and giving people with a diverse range of options.
Some of the new players include Reign Restaurant and Arcade; Exquisite Plaza and Restaurant; Kilimanjaro, and Valz Foods, among others.
While some operate as restaurants serving local and continental dishes, others are entering the market to provide unique services, including games and arcade and outdoor dining, among others.
Analysts say the growing retail sector is a sign of rapid urbanisation, which is benefiting from the provision of infrastructure and social amenities to facilitate city living.
A staff of one of the outlets, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said her outlet is providing jobs to school leavers and graduates in the area and servicing clients.
She added that the provision of regular electricity supply has also reduced their running costs, which puts the business in better stead to attain profitability.
The state welcomed Domino Pizza and Cold Stone outlets in 2020 and JARA stores, which has now expanded to two stores, in 2021.
An academic and finance expert, Nosakhare Ikponmwosa, said the entrance of the new outlets will formalise the retail food sector and result in more tax for the government.
According to him, “A lot is happening with the retail sector in Edo State. The new entrants are poised to provide jobs, thereby increasing economic activities. They will help in the collection of indirect taxes and also provide jobs for youths. It is indeed a welcome development.”