Nigeria’s Trade Minister identifies strategies to move economy forward at 6th FBNQuest Investor Conference

Nigeria’s Trade Minister identifies strategies to move economy forward at 6th FBNQuest Investor Conference

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Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Okey Enelamah, has reiterated government’s commitment to ending the current economic recession through strategic policies such as robust partnership between government and the private sector, support to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), as well as intervening in high potential sectors including manufacturing and agriculture.

He made these points at the 2016 Annual Investor Conference organised by FBN Capital Limited, the Investment Banking and Asset Management subsidiary of FBN Holdings Plc in Lagos.

In his presentation tiled ‘Matching Opportunities with Patient Capital,’ the Honourable Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Okey Enelamah, emphasized the importance of government partnership with the private sector in order to move the nation’s economy forward.

He said despite the recession, Nigerians should see the economy from a positive perspective and deemphasize on the negative side of the recession. He noted that the oil price crash exposed the structural deficiency in Nigeria’s large and thriving economy.

According to him, “Countries in difficulty have used different strategies to strengthen and diversify their economies.  That is why Nigeria needs to move away from over-dependence on oil. Diversification and growth is key to economic recovery and ensuring a more stable future. Nigeria should have a strong local base of investors because foreigners will always leave leading to dry up of capital.”

Enelamah recommended applying practical solutions such as creating the right environment and polices to harness the productivity of Nigerians in order to overcome the current inflation in Nigeria, as the economy remains large and full of potentials. He added that it is very easy to have a disconnect between the government and the people when there is no trust in government policies.

Speaking further, the Hon. Minister identified the 5 execution principles of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment (MITI) which include creating a favourable economic framework, support to Micro, Small Scale and Medium Enterprise (MSME), sector prioritization, partnership and joint ventures and immediate implementation of policies.

In order to realize Nigeria’s diversification and growth plan, it is essential to concentrate on an area where Nigerians are advantaged and give them necessary support, he said.

He further identified areas such as energy, clarification of Nigeria’s foreign exchange policy, agriculture, manufacturing and transportation as critical to economic growth.

In his conclusion, the Minister declared, “A crisis is too great an opportunity to waste.”

Head, Equity Research, FBN Capital, Mr. Bunmi Asaolu, gave a joint presentation With Gregory Kronsten Head of Macro-Economic Research FBN Capital, titled ‘The Economy and Markets’ Mr. Kronsten opened the presentation by linking the recession to the fall in supply of foreign exchange and the lack of a buffer of reserves. He noted that non-oil inflows are now higher than oil inflows and that they could and should grow substantially.

Mr. Bunmi Asaolu on his part stated that there was a strong double digit growth in revenue and Profit Before Tax (PBT), and triple digit growth for Payment After Tax (PAT),  and that close to half of the of the PBT derived were from foreign exchange related gains.

A panel session comprising the MD of Secure ID, Mrs. Kofo Akinkugbe; MD of Unified Payments, Mr. Agada Apochi; MD of Presco, Mr. Felix Nwabuko; MD, GTI Group, Mr. Rahul Savara and MD of Verod Capital Management, Mr. Danladi Verheijen discussed ‘Capitalising on Disruptions to the Status Quo.’

The second panel discourse focusing on ‘A New Way of Thinking on Infrastructure Spend’ had the Senior Director Investment Group, AFC, Mr. Ato Gyasi; Lead Partner, Detail Commercial Solutions, Mr. Ayuli Jemide; Executive Director, ICRC, Engr. Chidi Izuwa and CFO of Seven Energy, Mr. Bruce Burrows as panelists.

The annual FBNQuest conference, which is now in its 6th year, provides a forum for investors to interact with leaders of the economy, key policy makers in government and senior executives of leading corporate institutions.

Over the years, the conferences have hosted several Ministers covering various portfolios including Finance; Industry, Trade and Investment; Communication Technology; and Petroleum Resources; as well as representatives from the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Nigerian Pension Commission, amongst others.

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