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Onasanya Harps On Economic Reforms To Drive Growth

By NBF News
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The Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of First Bank Nigeria Limited, Mr. Bisi Onasanya, has reiterated the need for sustained macroeconomic reforms in order to stimulate the country's growth.

The First Bank chief made the call in a keynote address presented in Lagos, at the Nigeria Banking and Capital Market conference, organised by the Euromoney conferences.

According to him, Nigeria, as the most populous country and one of the largest economies on the continent, is a natural hub for economic activity within the sub-Saharan region and the continent as a whole. Although about 45 per cent of the Economic Community of West African States' (ECOWAS') GDP is from Nigerian, the country cannot fully exploit this status until the necessary macro-economic reforms have been instituted, he insisted.

Represented by the Executive Director, Corporate Banking Group, First Bank Nigeria Limited, Mr. Tokunbo Abiru, he said the positive response of investors to the recent Eurobond issued by the federal government was indicative of the attractiveness of Nigeria's sovereign debt to the investment community.

'Managers of the economy will be increasingly challenged to position the nation as a destination that is attractive to capital. Important reforms in this respect will include reductions to the domestic cost of doing business, a functional credit registry, and changes to property titling that allows the poor and vulnerable sectors of the economy extract value from their capital,' Onasanya explained.

Meanwhile, a statement from the bank disclosed that Onasanya at the weekend, joined global political and business leaders in New York for the Africa Private Sector Forum as the world considers a new global architecture for the private sector on sustainability and contribution to global priorities and the public good.

The event was part of activities lined up for the ongoing United Nations triennial Global Compact Leaders Summit in the United States of America. Onasanya was said to have chaired a session on Innovative and Sustainable Financing which explored the role of government, business and private finance in establishing innovative and sustainable financing mechanisms to support development in Africa.