Brands in Nigeria have faced numerous challenges in the last year. They faced a difficult business environment, volatile policies, and a number of economic issues.
Despite the economic downturn, some brands have found ways to adapt to the new realities in order to provide value to Nigerians. Plexus Media Interlinks, an integrated communications firm, has compiled a list of the top performing brands for the year 2022.
The firm, which understands the value of brands, included players in financial services, information technology, education, consumer goods, oil and gas, and professional services, among others, on the list, taking their media presence, media exposure, and overall impact across the country into account.
Below are the Top 10 Performing Brands in Nigeria for 2022
Afrinvest West Africa, one of the foremost investment organisations, is a financial advisory holding company with a focus on Nigeria and West Africa. It is active in four principal areas: investment banking, securities trading, asset management and investment research.
From the third quarter till the end of 2022, Afrinvest was the most performing brand in the media by virtue of its dominant presence across all media platforms. It also achieved various milestones, including the launch of a new subsidiary, Afrinvest Securities Limited, a new logo signifying its new brand identity as a digital investment bank, and celebrated its 27th anniversary.
Afrinvest Securities combines the experience, expertise, infrastructure and network of Afrinvest for the purpose of delivering award-winning capital markets, corporate finance, asset management and research services to investors and institutions operating across Nigeria and abroad.
In October 2022, the leading investment banking holding company launched Afrinvest Sparkle, to create more value for institutional investors, active investors and the general public.
Its equity fund was also ranked the best-performing for 2022. Achieving all these shows resilience, innovation, consistency and, of course, a sparkling track record.
Navigating uncharted territories is one of Afrinvest’s strongest suits, and it accomplishes this through innovation and creativity. With almost a three–decade history of pioneering innovation in the Nigerian investment banking sector, it unveiled its new financial digital platform, Optimus – a financial technology solution by Afrinvest designed to provide financial freedom for Nigerians. It combines banking, wealth management and brokerage requirements into one simple and secure platform, thereby simplifying investment and creating wealth.
With Optimus, customers get access to intelligent financial insights from experts with a wealth of experience to help individuals make informed financial decisions now and in the future. The fintech platform helps Nigerians invest their funds in the best investment portfolio types across the world.
Afrinvest, already transforming Nigeria’s investment banking sector, is set to improve the digital banking space and become Africa’s preferred digital investment bank in the coming years with Optimus.
For our pick of personal brands, Willie Obiano stands out as an icon. In the first half of 2022, the accomplished politician, banker and technocrat was a media sensation. As one of the performing governors in Nigeria before his tenure ended on March 17, 2022, he became the first and only governor to successfully build an oxygen production plant in the region. The largest oxygen plant in the South East, the facility has changed the state’s health sector.
Not only were his audacious achievements the talk of the nation, he also survived the malignant media attacks on his person and administration.
Remarkably, he kept his cool and let his achievements as a democratically elected governor speak for himself. These historic achievements cut across security, education, health, agriculture, industrialisation, trade and commerce, transportation, among others. Countless road projects and industries were completed, including the renovation of schools and primary health centres across the state.
Under Obiano, Anambra was declared one of Nigeria’s safest states in the federation. This was after successful efforts in organising Nigeria’s first international conference on security. He established a Court of Appeal in Awka, the state capital, making legal services easily accessible to the citizens.
Further, he created a Small Business Agency and funded 10,000 cooperatives, micro-enterprises and artisans while also providing operating capital to 3,000 small and medium-sized enterprises.
Having achieved all these, among many other milestones, little wonder he’s fondly called ‘Akpokuedike’, which literally means a dependable protector. Among his peers, he is described as ‘a genius with numerous achievements’.
Central Primary School, Obioma
Another media sensation in 2022 was the 85-year-old Central Primary School, Obioma, in Udi Local Government Area of Enugu State. The timeworn school was renovated and remodelled by the Group Managing Director of Afrinvest West Africa, Prince Ike Chioke. This was the first renovation since its establishment in 1937 by the missionaries. The school got a new building and modern learning facilities, including electronic library, computer laboratory, solar-powered systems, as well as modern tables and chairs. Buildings in the school also received a facelift.
New equipment and academic materials were donated to the school and dilapidated infrastructure was refurbished. The school was commissioned by the wife of Edo State Governor, Betsy Obaseki, and the wife of the Deputy Governor of Enugu, Cecilia Ezeilo. The renovation of CPS, Obioma, was one of the most talked about educational projects in the media.
With multiple awards over the years, Africa’s global bank, United Bank for Africa Plc. continues to distinguish itself in the financial service industry. The first of its many 2022 highlights was the performance in terms of profitability. The tier-one bank recorded a 12.6 per cent increase in its profit before tax, which stood at N85.7bn for the first half of 2022 from N76.2bn in the same period of 2021.
The bank’s financial results show that it recorded double-digit growth across key income lines, as well as significant progress in the contribution from its subsidiaries.
UBA Foundation was recognised as a leader for its veritable Corporate Social Responsibility projects at the 10th anniversary of the Marketing Edge Brands and Advertising Excellence Awards in Lagos.
The CSR arm of the bank is committed to the socio-economic betterment of its host communities, focusing on development in areas of education, environment, economic empowerment and special projects. Its education initiative has been changing lives for over a decade, granting numerous individual scholarships.
In addition, the highly impactful projects of the UBA Foundation such as the yraly National Essay Competition, Read Africa, Each Teach One, Food Bank, among others, are being cascaded across Africa to reach more people every year.
Interswitch is an African-integrated payments and digital commerce company headquartered in Lagos. Founded in 2002 as a transaction switching and processing company with national focus, the organisation has achieved success in the financial technology sector.
The company’s vision for the fintech space is to deepen financial inclusion through its innovative products and solutions.
It received the 2022 Fintech of the Year award hosted by the African Bankers Association. It also received the ‘Best in Delivering Impactful Organisational Values’ award at the 2022 edition of the ‘Best Companies to Work For’ awards, organised by the global research and consulting firm, Great Place to Work.
The recognition is a demonstration of the tech firm’s dedication to creating an enabling environment that fosters employee growth and team collaboration, which in turn boosts the company’s overall performance.
Pocket by Piggyvest
One of the biggest success stories of 2022 was the Pocket App by Piggyvest. Pocket, formerly known as Abeg, is a payments app, which rebranded itself as Pocket by Piggyvest, a social e-commerce platform.
The rebrand, which reflects its ambition to expand its services from money transfers to a social commerce app, and reinforces its push into a social commerce market, is estimated to reach $23.8bn by 2028 in Nigeria alone.
The Pocket by Piggyvest app secured its Approval In Principle from the Central Bank of Nigeria, for its mobile money licence, making it Nigeria’s first social commerce platform to secure CBN’s AIP for Mobile Money Operator licence.
It also dominated all media platforms as the lead sponsor of the 2022 Big Brother Naija reality TV show, where its awareness increased its user base from two million in 2021 to nearly four million by the second quarter of 2022.
Access Bank, a wholly owned subsidiary of Access Holdings Plc., established in 1989, is a leading full service commercial bank operating through a network of more than 700 branches and service outlets, spanning three continents, 17 markets and over 52m customers.
The financial institution offers banking products and services for the retail, private, corporate and institutional and non-institutional sectors.
Access Holdings financial results, as at mid-2022, posted gross earnings of N591.803bn for its 2022 half-year results, representing a growth of 31.42 per cent year-on-year.
In its unaudited half-year financials submitted to the Nigeria Exchange Limited, the bank also made significant improvements across Key Performance Indicators.
In the course of the year, the company also embarked on a CSR project to impact over 90,000 youths across Nigeria. The project, entitled Project LEAD, acronym for Leadership, Enterprise and Academic Development, in partnership with Revamp Africa Foundation, commenced in 2022.
Dangote Group has been a household name for decades. Founded in 1981 by Alhaji Aliko Dangote, the group has performed exceedingly well over the years. The organisation moved into manufacturing in the 1990s, starting with textiles, moving into flour milling, salt processing and sugar refining by the end of the decade. The company moved into cement production, growing rapidly into other African countries.
Dangote Cement is one of the subsidiaries listed on the NGX, with its market capitalisation accounting for almost 20 per cent of the total capitalisation of the Exchange.
The group has been described as a significant player in fuelling Nigeria’s economic transformation, and it is no surprise that they are on this list. It ventured into oil and gas in 2016, with an estimated investment of $12bn. The project team hit a major milestone, recently, when it installed the world’s largest crude distillation column for top tier refining operations.
Aside the achievements, Dangote Group maintained a strong media presence and top-of-mind awareness, emerging a top performer last year.
Leadway Assurance Company, one of the foremost Nigerian insurance corporations headquartered in Lagos, is another brand that performed very well in 2022.
Established in 1970 by Sir Hassan Odukale, it commenced business in 1971 as a direct motor insurer. It expanded into other areas until it became a composite company underwriting both life and general insurance business.
Decades later, the company is still standing strong, entering new territories and providing more value to its numerous customers.
Leadway Assurance’s investment income for 2022 amounted to N17.2bn, compared to 2021, which stood at N10.7bn, translating to an increase of 61 per cent.
The organisation restated its commitment to sustaining its CSR to enhance socio-economic growth in the country by sponsoring several health campaigns.
The year ended on a high note for Leadway, as it gained more popularity in the media by sponsoring the ‘Stacked December’ show, with A-list artistes, Wizkid and M.I, whose massive fan base sold out venues for the event.