A cross section of discussants at the second edition of the CEOs Roundtable jointly organised by The Nigeria Stock Exchange and Bloomberg on Wednesday expressed optimism that Nigeria economy will rise again despite the various challenges being experienced right now.
Speaking at the event in Lagos, the panellists observed that Nigeria has the potential to bounce back from its present economic quagmire giving its size and prime place as Africa’s largest economy. The programme which was moderated by Bloomberg’s Paul Wallace discussed issues relating to macroeconomic, financial services, manufacturing sector as well as portfolio investments.
Dr Ogho Okiti, Economic & Policy Analyst, explained that the problems currently being faced by the economy did not just happen today, adding that they have been there over the years.
Over the years, he stressed that the country had over-dependence on crude oil.
Okiti, expressed regretted that no meaningful efforts have been made to resolving the issues which he noted require long term solution.
Also, Mr Segun Ogunsanya, Managing Director/CEO, Airtel Nigeria, mentioned that the telecommunication industry is important to the economy and can be a key driver of the economy.
Ogunsanya, opined that the telcos should be profiled as manufacturers to enable them easy access to forex which would definitely impact the economy.
He agreed that a population of 170 million people and vast land mass for agriculture are key factors in salvaging the economic from the present mess.
Mr Ayo Fashina, Director of Investment Banking with Chapel-Hill Denham, also stressed on the need to put in place policies that will attract foreign portfolio investors as well as foreign development investors.
He noted that the situation on hand today is not giving foreign investors the needed assurance in the areas of liquidity of Nigerian banks, security, and transparency in the foreign exchange regime.
While agreeing that Nigeria has the right market for businesses to thrive, the CEO of Nestle Nigeria, Dharnesh Gordhon, stated that the problem of power supply must be solved to actualise returns on investment.
He noted that there has been shortage in gas supply for them to power their machines for about eight months.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria Stock Exchange, Oscar Onyema lauded the partnership between the NSE and Bloomberg.
Onyema, described the partnership as part of the steps to restore investors’ confidence back into the country.