A financial expert, Dayo Amzat, says Nigeria requires a policy and institutional governance that will insulate the business environment from the values of politics.
Amzat, Chief Executive Officer, Zedcrest Capital, said this during the Future of Finance Executive Forum organised by BitPesa Ltd, in Lagos.
The theme of the forum is; Beating the volatility: Preparing for the election economy.’’
“Since we started this democratic dispensation, every four years, the things we hear are that portfolio investors are leaving the country, naira is losing value or the stock market is on a losing streak.
“We cannot keep having this conversation, it does not augur well for a country.
“It is tough to think that a disagreement between the President and Speaker, or fallout between the Executive and Judiciary will have an effect on the economy.
“We need to have the kind of policy and institutional governance that will largely protect the business environment from politics,” Amzat said.
He urged businesses to diversify their products portfolio, implement cost cutting strategies and explore the various foreign exchange markets created by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to mitigate forex and revenue losses.
Also, Mr Adeoye Ojuroye, Chief Financial Officer, Providus Bank, said that CBN’s incentives to banks through the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) has encouraged more banks to lend to the manufacturing sector.
“Globally, businesses are nervous during pre-election year and take a hold stance to see what the political space and policies will look like before making moves.
“The CBN’s intervention in the foreign exchange market has continued to stabilise activities in the market while ensuring that price volatility experienced in the past did not reoccur,” he said.
He said that businesses were concerned about volatility, operating environment and digital foreign exchange tools that could be utilized to enhance the profitability of their business.
Elizabeth Rossiello, Founder of BitPesa, said that the risk and potential losses associated with turbulent and illiquid emerging market currencies was a challenge for companies operating on the African continent.
“We saw the difficulties small financial institutions faced finding liquidity in local African currencies and repeatedly saw funds and companies have to exit the market due to this challenge.
“In order to keep up with and support frontier markets’ accelerating development, we cannot rely on just traditional infrastructure, instead, we must create a hybrid financial infrastructure that is equally accessible and efficient.
“BitPesa is a market-maker in every major African currency and opens corridors for business payments and trade between frontier markets and the rest of the world,” she said.
Rossiello, a Co-chair of the Global Blockchain Council of the World Economic Forum (WEF), said that BitPesa seeks to empower businesses and entire markets at a level of macroeconomic engagement that would enhance economic growth.