Recently, British journalist David Jenkins narrates how Nigerians in London engage in stupendous lifestyle. A major observation in the article is the manner in which Nigerians consume champagne. He writes, ‘People drink champagne like water.’ Nigeria’s the second fastest-growing champagne market after France. Total consumption reached 752,879 bottles in 2011 and the country is spending around 41.41bn naira (£159m) on the drink annually. Moët Rosé is a favourite – Nigerians have a sweet tooth – though the country’s in the top 10 for Hennessy cognac and is getting more and more partial to wine. Still, champagne’s the thing: even in fast-food joints like Southern Fried Chicken in Abuja, the capital, there are bottles of Moët in the fridge.
And it’s not just alcohol: annual GDP growth has been around seven per cent during the past few years, and there’s an emerging middle class to join the rich elite. And though Nigerians pour abroad to buy-buy-buy, Western retailers are moving in: Zegna has opened in Lagos, as have Boss, MAC and L’Oréal. Malls are opening, and retail’s the next big thing. Lagos is
very cosmopolitan, because this is where the money is, and there’s a lot of money pushing around.’ It reminds one English expatriate of Moscow in the Nineties, and Google co-founder Sergey Brin has described Russia as ‘Nigeria, with snow’. Perhaps that’s why Nigeria has gone from being dubbed the happiest society in the world in 2003 by New Scientist to being called the most stressed-out society on earth by Bloomberg earlier this year.
All of which might seem jarring from a country of 170 million people, 70 per cent of whom live on under £1.25 a day. (Sixty-two per cent of them are under 25.) Even on Victoria Island – ‘the Island,’ as the locals call the smartest part of Lagos – the roads are potholed and the electricity intermittent at best.
Full story: http://www.newsofthepeople-ng.com/silverspoon-nigerians-taking-over-london/