Nigerians are crazy for champagne because of our desire to appear wealthy.
According to Africa Check, in 2014, Nigeria ranked 23rd among the world's largest champagne importers. The country imported 768, 131 bottles that year.
In terms of actual bottles sold, Nigeria ranked 22nd for 1.1 million bottles of champagne. Forget about the fake news in 2015 that Nigeria was the second largest consumer of champagne in the world. Take away the alternative facts and Nigerians still guzzle a lot of champagne most especially for a third world country.
The Global brand ambassador for Moët & Chandon, Pierre-Louis Araud in an interview with Guardian Nigeria, said that Nigeria is the brand's biggest market.
For a country dealing with the recession and perpetually stuck in the developing countries league, guzzling a high volume of champagne might seems out of place.
Every country has its culture code, a cultural DNA that makes it unique and separates it from others. In Nigeria, our culture code is the good life, to enjoy life at all times no matter cost. We want to be happy and party all the time.
We love to drive flashy cars. Go to the Palms in Lekki on any given day and you will see so many German and Italian luxurious cars. You would think you are in Monaco. Our attitude towards life is to be aspirational and be able to afford the finer things in life.
These things are, the latest model of the Toyota Camry or Honda Accord, a house in Lekki, summer vacation to England or America among others. We want to live larger than life.
Once you understand this, you would know why Nigerians are crazy about champagne, the drink of champions and millionaires. It's been said that rich people drink champagne because poor people can't afford it. Once rich people can afford to drink a bottle of champagne, rich people would no longer patronize it.
A bottle of champagne is a status symbol just like a luxurious car. It shows you are not among the regular. Nigerians love to show off that God has blessed them financially. A bottle or bottles of champagne send along that message.
"I think in Nigeria, you have people who love to enjoy life... We see that Nigerian people are successful and the drink resonates with them...Either during the day or at night you will see that Nigerians like to party and enjoy life" says Pierre-Louis Araud about Nigerians in his Guardian Nigeria interview.
Not only do Nigerians spend mega amounts of money partying, we are also known to splash the cash on weddings. In 2014, Forbes published a report which stated that Nigeria's elite spent over $2M (N600M) on super weddings. Despite the downturn in the economy, the Nigerian wedding industry is still booming.
Just like cars and houses, weddings in most parts of Nigeria are a statement of financial wealth and social class. It is a chance to make a statement. Bottles of champagne are just one way to show the world you come from money.
Nigerians have always had a taste for the finer things in life which is puzzling looking at the state of the country for so many years. Nigerians put their money in luxury goods and in church but not in the state.
We would gladly drink champagne all day and drive home in the latest Range Rover jeep on bad roads.