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i-Fitness invests N2bn in Nigeria’s fitness industry, mulls expansion plans

i-Fitness, Nigeria’s first and fastest-growing fitness chain has disclosed that it has committed over N2 billion investment in Nigeria’s fitness industry.

This investment, it said, is set to instil the culture of health and wellness amongst Nigerians living in the urban communities, providing a network of convenient and affordable fitness centres.

This is also as the organisation opened its 10th branch in Magodo, Lagos. I-Fitness has over 8,000 members, creating over 200 jobs.

i-Fitness which has commenced expansion plans is working on having more branches and creating another 180 jobs cutting across various functions, from Sales, Customer Service, Accounting, Human resources etc before the year runs out.

Speaking during the opening of its new branch in Magodo, Foluso Ogunwale, Founder & CEO of i-Fitness; said the vision behind i-Fitness is to be Africa’s most preferred fitness chain, creating a youthful, entertaining and functional fitness experience that promotes the culture of health and wellness in Nigeria.

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Ogunwale said i-Fitness plans to have at least one branch within a 5km radius of the urban cities in Nigeria and West Africa, adding that with the population size of Lagos and the need to massively promote the culture of health and wellness, its initial plan is to have 22 branches in Lagos alone.

He said i-Fitness is projecting to have another 20,000 members by year-end and over 100,000 by 2024.

Speaking on the experience so far, he said, “It has been challenging and exciting at the same time. We started from a very small 150sqm outlet on Admiralty Lekki Phase 1 in 2015.

“Gradually, we grew the network, not just in number but also improving the look and feel, making the newer locations more youthful, more functional and World Class. The previous locations are constantly being renovated to meet up with the new standard too.”

He noted that since convenience is one of the values i-Fitness offer to its members, it operates a multi-location based system, which means that with one membership, members can have access to any of the branches.

“Affordability is also crucial. With multi-location access, group fitness classes, best-in-class fitness equipment our members have the flexibility to make monthly subscriptions from as low as N13,900.

“This is very different from what was obtainable 10 years back when fitness membership in a standard gym was as high as N700,000 per annum without monthly payment options. i-Fitness is changing that landscape, we are making fitness common and more affordable,’
Ogunwale explained.

The CEO of I-Fitness who advised people to make fitness a lifestyle recalled that according to a survey in 2018 by the World Health Organization, the average life expectancy of the Nigerian male is 54years and Female 55 years, which is quite disturbing.

He assured that non-communicable diseases such as heart-related diseases, diabetes are largely avoidable if fitness (physical activity and nutrition) is checked.

“Paying attention to one’s health is not luxury, it is not something we do as a one-off, it’s what we do all our days. At i-Fitness, what we are doing is to make it fun, so that it becomes easier to adopt as a way of life.”

He said that exercise boosts the immune system as those who passed on from COVID are largely those with underlying medical issues; meaning the stronger one’s immune system, the more likely it is to survive a COVID infection.

“We are working to see i-Fitness becoming the preferred fitness destination for the average urban youth; that is, we want to be the preferred neighbourhood gym for the average urban dweller.

“Making fitness common is crucial to us. The more common it gets, the more access there is to more Nigerians. No doubt, when people live a healthier lifestyle, they become more productive to themselves, more productive in their workplace, and more importantly, they are available to live happily with their family,” Ogunwale said.

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