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Nigeria remains top investment destination, says RMBN

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Picture 1, L-R: Haruna Jalo Waziri, CEO,CSCS, Bola Onadele, CEO, FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange, Kemi Adewole, CEO, Protiquette Consults, Godwin Emefiele, Governor, CBN, and Michael Larbie, CEO RMB Nigeria & Regional Head West Africa at the 2019 Association of Assets Custodians of Nigeria conference themed Nigeria – The Economics of the Capital Market partly sponsored by Rand Merchant Bank Nigeria in London recently.

Despite the recent economic headwinds, Nigeria remains an attractive investment destination, the Chief Executive Officer, RMB Nigeria (RMBN) and Regional Head, West Africa, Michael Larbie, has said.

Speaking during a panel session at the just concluded 2019 Annual Investor Day, in London, United Kingdom, organised by the Association of Assets Custodians of Nigeria, he noted that efforts in ensuring a conducive business environment is yielding some positive results.

The boss of the South-Africa’s banking subsidiary said his conviction is based on Nigeria’s 23-place rise in the World Bank’s ease of doing business ranking to 146 in 2019 from 169 of 190 countries ranked in 2016.

RMB Africa’s research also confirmed the improved attractiveness of Nigeria as an investment destination, with Nigeria moving up five places to eighth position in its yearly “Where to Invest in Africa” report. He also noted that the government is also providing incentives to investors in select sectors known as pioneer sectors and opening free trade zones to boost manufacturing and trade.

From a demographic perspective, Nigeria has one of the most attractive demographics in Africa, boasting of a young population with a median age of 18 years, the largest labour force at 90 million and consumer market at $270 billion in Africa.

In addition to these, Nigeria is strategically located in the Gulf of Guinea, providing access to export goods to developed markets as well as the potential to be Africa’s manufacturing hub.Larbie also noted that Nigeria’s infrastructure deficit, which requires a funding of $3trillion over a 30-year period, provides significant investment opportunities for potential investors.

He however, stressed the need for clarity of regulations and improved security, a deliberate and concerted effort by government partnering with the private sector to improve education, healthcare and infrastructure, to ensure Nigeria truly benefits from its large and growing population.

Also speaking on the sidelines of the conference, the Head of Global Markets, RMB Nigeria, Nadia Zakari, stated that the addition of custody services to the product offering of the bank will further deliver end-to-end efficient trading and post trading experience of the bank’s existing and future clients.

The bank’s Head of Custody, Abiodun Adebimpe, added that the recent developments in the securities markets, such as the Central Securities Clearing System’s risk management assessment upgrade from A to A+, stable and liquid FX markets, launch of FMDQ Clear to support derivatives, among others, are testaments to the fact that Nigeria is open for business and a market that welcomes and listens to investors.

Still, the Head of Research for RMB Nigeria Stockbrokers, Gbenga Sholotan, noted the role of key securities market operators in providing a forum to drive healthy debate and prompt action by market regulators and operators in creating a sustainable, transparent and efficient market.He concluded that Nigeria’s investment environment will continue to experience growth, given the focus of key market operators in the areas of cutting edge product development to enhance market liquidity.


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Michael LarbieRMBN
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