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NSE, CBN & UBA Leaders Showcase Nigeria To UK Investment Community In London

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London, March 26, (THEWILL) - The abundant investment opportunities in Nigeria as well as the statistics to back the fact that Nigeria remains an investors haven and gateway to Africa was the fulcrum of presentations and discussions by the leadership of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and United Bank for Africa (UBA) at the investment gathering in London during the Nigerian Economic and Financial Markets Conference organized by Bloomberg; the multinational financial news corporation on Friday March 23, 2012.

Despite the challenging market conditions, Nigeria, according to them is projected to continue on the growth path over the next couple of years, presenting increasing opportunities for corporate financiers, sovereign investors, corporations and financial intermediaries.

In his presentation on Doing Business in Nigeria: Creating Wealth from Opportunities in Africa’s Largest Market, Mr. Phillips Oduoza the CEO of UBA said the growth will be fuelled by activities in the oil and gas, power, infrastructure, manufacturing and agricultural sectors of the economy. He emphasized that the government reforms in these sectors and the attendant multiplier effects of the linkages between them in terms of job creation and increased consumer spending, will be very significant in the years ahead.

“As Nigeria’s truly pan-African bank with operations in 18 other African countries as well as London, New York and Paris, UBA is well positioned to help potential investors capitalize on these opportunities in Nigeria and the wider African continent” he told the London gathering.

Also speaking at the conference, the CBN Deputy Governor and Coordinator of the Financial Systems Strategy 2020, Mr. Suleiman Barau gave an update on the financial system reforms and highlighted that the planned Nigerian International Financial Centre (NIFC) presents more than 35 trillion naira worth of opportunities in the near term.

According to him there exists about 218 billion dollars worth of financial intermediation opportunities within the financial services sector especially in mobile money, insurance, pensions and real estate. In a similar vein he stated that given the relative size today, traditional strongholds of the Nigerian economy such as power, agriculture, infrastructure and oil and gas sectors presents more that 355billion dollars of investment opportunities.

He said there is a stronger domestic financial markets in Nigeria today owing to the recent reforms by the CBN which were hinged on 4 pillars; enhancing the quality of banks; establishing financial stability, enabling the evolution of a healthy financial sector and ensuring that the sector contributes to the real economy.

According to the CBN boss, the NIFC was a critical component of the overall FSS 2020, given that it will facilitate the diversification of the economy and catalyse rapid economic growth in Africa, sub Saharan Africa and Nigeria in particular. “Despite its massive size, population, abundant resources and potential returns, the continent has largely been excluded from the global financial system” he said.

On his part the CEO of the Nigerian Stock Exchange Mr. Oscar Onyema said the market outlook for Nigeria remains very positive with the NSE, targeting a market capitalization of 1 trillion USD in the next 5 years in a reform driven strategy that is hinged on targeted business development, strong regulatory environment, state of the art technology, growth enabling market structure and first rate investor protection programs.

As the gateway to African markets, Nigeria offers some of the highest yields available at maturity and the potential for capital appreciation; has low equity valuations thus offering potentials for some high returns; has favorable government policy towards foreign investments with easy capital importation and exportation, he maintained.