Stanbic IBTC Taps Into Govt’s Diversification Drive, Leads Iron And Steel Business Session

By Philip Odiakose

In an effort to focus renewed attention on the iron and steel industry and encourage fresh investments, Stanbic IBTC Bank, a member of Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, has organized a business session on the industry. The session, which held on Thursday, May 5, in Lagos, had in attendance the Minister for Solid Minerals Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi, who delivered the keynote address. Also in attendance were local and foreign investors, key local players in the industry, regulators, policymakers and other stakeholders from the private and public sectors.

The bank said the business session was organized to direct attention to the opportunities and potential inherent in the mining sector, particularly the iron and steel industry, as a way to tap into the economic diversification agenda of the current administration. It is also an avenue to help foster a public private partnership that will facilitate the unlocking of the huge prospects in the industry, the bank added.

In her opening address at the event, Chief Executive of Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, Sola David-Borha, while expressing the financial institution’s appreciation to participants, particularly the minister, said Stanbic IBTC Bank organized the session to kickstart sustained discussions between the private sector and government with a view to developing a robust mining sector through the public private partnership model. She said this has become necessary because of the prospects in the sector and its ability to contribute substantially to government revenue.

“The 2016 Stanbic IBTC Iron and Steel Business conference was conceived to tap into the economic diversification drive of government by bringing together stakeholders from both the public and private sectors to share deep insights into the opportunities in the solid minerals sector, which has the potential to rival the petroleum sector in revenue generation,” David-Borha said. “As a developmental partner,” she added, “Stanbic IBTC will continue to take the lead in identifying opportunities that could be tapped into for growth through public private partnerships.”

In his presentation, the minister stated that government is determined to use Nigeria’s industrial mineral endowment to drive the country’s industrialization, adding that the private sector is expected to lead the transformation. He therefore commended Stanbic IBTC for taking the initiative in organizing the session where government and private sector players can productively engage on the way forward.

In a presentation, Head of Mining, Standard Bank, Anders Alfredson, highlighted some of the reasons to invest in the iron and steel industry to include import substitution opportunity, potential to develop domestic iron ore and other steel raw material resources, and abundance of attractively-priced energy sources available locally, among others.

Alfredson said future demand growth has created opportunity to develop the domestic industry and that Standard Bank, with its strong mining franchise, is ready to, through Stanbic IBTC, partner with local players to develop the industry as well as use its global network to bring investors into the country.

“Stanbic IBTC is open to work with its existing in-country client base on potential opportunities to develop an integrated iron ore to steel player,” Alfredson said, adding, “Stanbic IBTC would be able to leverage Standard Bank’s global network to identify potential candidates for strategic investment into Nigeria.”

Chief Executive, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Yinka Sanni, assured that Stanbic IBTC will continue to encourage robust engagements among stakeholders in the mining industry. According to him, the bank will leverage the expertise and experience of the Standard Bank group, to which Stanbic IBTC belongs, to help bring government’s vision of the industry to reality.