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2018 Nigeria CEO Outlook

2018 Nigeria CEO Outlook

With so much change in the Nigerian business landscape in the last couple of years, it is valuable to know what the leaders of today’s leading companies in Nigeria are anticipating for the next few years ahead.

Kunle Elebute

Senior Partner, KPMG in Nigeria & Chairman, KPMG Africa

KPMG in Nigeria


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CEO Outlook

Leveraging on the success of the KPMG 2018 Global CEO Outlook, a survey in its fourth year and of 1,300 CEOs of the largest companies from around the world, this is the maiden edition of the KPMG Nigeria CEO Outlook. This study explores the views and insights of today’s leading business leaders in the country across a broad range of business drivers, risks and pain points impacting industries and businesses in Nigeria.

We have surveyed a cross section of CEOs across industries and obtained indepth perspectives from a number of them on the major issues facing the economy, their industries and their businesses over the short to medium term. The findings provide powerful insights into the thinking and strategies that will shape business decisions in the years to come.

Key findings

Realistic Growth

— Many CEOs express increasing confidence in the economy

  • 76 percent of the CEOs surveyed are confident about the country’s growth prospects over the next three years.
  • 84 percent are confident about the growth prospects in the industry they play in.

— However, a significant number of CEOs expect moderate corporate growth

  • 88 percent of CEOs expect topline revenue growth of less than 2 percent over the next three years with the same percentage expecting an increase of less than 5 percent in their headcount in the same time period.

Growth Strategies

— Organic Growth, Outsourcing and Strategic Alliances are the key strategies growth for Nigerian CEOs over the next three years.

  • Three in five Nigerian CEOs say organic growth is one of their top two strategies for growth while 28 percent rank it first.
  • 28 percent also agree that outsourcing is key for their growth but 52 percent believe strategic alliances with third parties is the second most important strategy overall.

— More than half of Nigerian CEOs (56 percent) intend to set up accelerator programs for startups within the next three years to help pursue their growth objectives.

Threats to Growth

  • 88 percent of Nigerian CEOs say that operational risk is among the top three threats to their organisation’s growth while 48 percent of CEOs say the same for talent risk.
  • Emerging technology risk is ranked first by 28 percent of Nigerian CEOs as the single biggest threat to growth in the next three years.

Transformation Challenge

  • Nigerian CEOs are confident that their existing leadership team is fully equipped to oversee the radical transformation their organisation requires.
  • 100 percent say they are personally prepared to lead such a change.

Disruption as an Opportunity

  • All Nigerian CEOs in the study believe that technological disruption is more of an opportunity than a threat, and they all agree it is the only significant disruption facing their businesses.
  • But many of them state that they are struggling to run parallel processes to transform the digital and non-digital aspects of their businesses.
  • 88 percent of Nigerian CEOs are of the opinion that their digital and technology investments are strategic and long term but 64 percent of them expect to see significant return on such investments in 12 months.

Meeting Customer Expectations

  • 60 percent of CEOs believe that they are meeting or exceeding their customers’ expectations.
  • But it appears there is a struggle to meet the needs of customers of the future as 44 percent of CEOs admit that they have to reposition their brand to meet the needs of millennials.
  • 40 percent of them say it is a challenge understanding how the needs of millennials differ from older customers.

Cyber Threats

  • 84 percent of Nigerian CEOs say they are ‘well’ or ‘very well’ prepared for a cyber-attack.
  • 96 percent are confident in their ability to identify new threats and all are confident about their ability to manage external stakeholders in the event of an attack.

Download the 2018 Nigeria CEO Outlook Summary Report (PDF)


© 2020 KPMG Professional Services, a partnership registered in Nigeria and a member firm of the KPMG network of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity. All rights reserved.

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