Chief Tokunbo Omisore, CEO of Top Services Ltd, an indigenous mall development firm, has reiterated his call for pension funds lying dormant in the coffers of pension authorities to be made available to develop Nigeria’s retail industry.
Chief Omisore renewed the call amidst complaints by retailers in the industry who are protesting dollar denominated rents in shops where goods are sold in naira. At a recent forum which had in attendance major retailers, it was also noted that many malls were operating at 20 per cent occupancy.
Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Ruff ‘n’ Tumble, Mrs. Adenike Ogunlesi, at that meeting said, “What do we do about the dollar-denominated sale of floor spaces in malls when our sales are all in naira? What do we do about 20 per cent occupancy in malls where we are paying full rates, whereby the stores that are meant to do collective footfall are not opened?”
To mitigate these worries, Chief Omisore said, “If local loan facilities available to our malls do not have the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Real Sector Support Funds (RSSF) or the pension funds, now in excess of N6 trillion, then local developers may as well stay off these developments and allow the foreigners with funds under 5 per cent interest rate with a 15 to 20 years tenure to dictate our retail market.
“Nigeria’s? retail Industry needs to provide an enabling environment and empower our dedicated and innovative local retailers. Top Services Ltd provides affordable malls to grow the local retailers and could improve this cause if supported by our pension funds or the CBN RSSF.”