Nigeria’s Economic Potential To Resonate At 7th Standard Bank West Africa Investors’ Conference

By Philip Odiakose
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Nigeria’s burgeoning population, rapid urbanization, abundance of talents and natural resources, vast consumer market and a vibrant labour force are key pillars to drive the country’s economic renaissance and need for diversification, shifts made imperative by challenging economic conditions due to falling commodity prices in the last two years.

This is the message of hope expected to resonate at the 7th Standard Bank West African Investors’ Conference, themed ‘Unlocking Nigeria’s Potential…growth through diversification’ slated for the Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos, from February 23 - 25, with discerning investors expected to get hints of growth opportunities in the economy.

At a press briefing in Lagos on Wednesday, February 10, 2016, Chief Executive, Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, Mrs. Sola David-Borha, stated that major domestic and global investors as well as fund managers will have access to information on the key economic issues which would enable them make well-informed investment decisions about the country.

The focus of the event, according to David-Borha, is to highlight growth opportunities in critical areas such as power, agriculture, SME, manufacturing and energy, among others.

The Conference, which is built on the successes recorded in the previous editions, will also avail policy makers a platform to unpack Nigeria’s economic direction with a view to deciphering how to move the economy forward, David-Borha stated. Key insights on various economic issues would be provided by headline speakers from the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, Central Bank of Nigeria, Securities and Exchange Commission, Nigerian Stock Exchange, National Pension Commission and Debt Management Office.

Chief Executive of Stanbic IBTC Stockbrokers Limited, Mrs. Titi Ogungbesan, identified oil and gas, agriculture, power and macro-economic stability as some of the issues for discussion at the event, which is expected to attract institutional investors from across the globe who will meet with most of the top rated corporate companies in West Africa.

“Besides the direct impact which these exchanges will make on the Nigerian economy, the conference will provide both local and international investors with opportunities to meet with some of the companies they have investments in, or in which they hope to make investments. It will also serve as a bridge to connect these investors to opportunities inherent in Africa’s biggest economy, which has been opened up for private sector participation,” Ogungbesan stated.

A key lesson derived from previous editions of the conference, she added, is the need to consistently put in the public domain the African story where rapid transformation and impressive returns have propelled global growth, which in turn provides sufficient motivation to invest in the continent. “As an African institution, especially as the largest financial services group on the continent, we are strongly committed to supporting its growth and development.”

Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, a member of Standard Bank Group, is a full service financial services group with a clear focus on three main business pillars - Corporate and Investment Banking, Personal and Business Banking and Wealth Management. Standard Bank Group is the largest African bank by assets and earnings.

It is rooted in Africa with strategic representation in 20 countries on the African continent, including South Africa. Standard Bank has been in operation for 153 years and is focused on building first-class, on-the-ground financial services organisations in chosen countries in Africa and connecting other selected emerging markets to Africa and to each other, applying sector expertise, particularly in natural resources, globally.