Tuesday, January 22, 2019 07.30PM / Bukola Akinyele for Proshare WebTV
At the 2019 edition of the Nigerian Economic 0utlook Conference organized by Time Economics, panelists Mr Peter Ashade, GCEO United Capital and Mr Rotimi Oyekanmi, Partner APIS LLP shared their perspectives on the Nigerian investment climate for the year.
Ashade in his assessment said the Nigerian capital market in Q1 of 2018 rallied and this was based on the fact that in 2017, it ended as one of the best performing markets in the globe.
Structure-wise Ashade noted that the market was dominated by foreign players, which meant that it was exposed to developments in the global financial ecosystem.
Speaking further Ashade noted that this development sometimes has a way of creating volatility within the market system, which is characterized by capital outflows.
Secondly, he said with the United States Federal Reserve’s plan to raise interest rates in 2019, there will be significant effects on emerging markets and frontier markets like Nigeria because it means that investors, will relocate investment cash to environments more rewarding on a risk/return basis.
Ashade on his part made a strong case for right economic reforms to be put in place by government, to attract key investments.
On the part of regulators he was of the view that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for over three years, was operating without a board which was in sharp contrast to the corporate governance standards the body was supposed to promote. He emphasized the point that government has a major role to play in providing an enabling environment for investors.
Ashade said the government should address the issues of inadequate power, which if solved could reduce unemployment by 50%.
Rotimi Oyekanmi Partner, APIS LLP, noted that infrastructure for him was a principal issue that needed to be addressed in Nigeria.
This for him covered power, transportation and broadband technology across the country.
According to him “You can’t produce in Kano and not get it to Lagos. There is a need for critical review of transportation”.
Looking at broadband Oyekanmi said in the area of internet connection, India had massive coverage compared to Nigeria.
He made the point that Nigeria cannot achieve scale in financial inclusion, if it has poor broadband network and infrastructure.
In the area of infrastructure financing, he stressed the need for the Pension industry to be approached with a structured and well regulated financing model.
As a Private Equity player and investor, Oyekanmi emphasised the need for businesses in Nigeria to be adequately capitalized.