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Nigeria remains viable investment haven –Uduanu

by Goddie Ofose
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Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Sigma Pensions, Dave Uduanu, among other corporate chieftains  at the weekend, restated confidence in Nigeria’s economy as a viable investment haven, despite its temporary challenges.

This was the shared view of the professionals who converged to discuss “Preserving Value in Turbulent Times” at Sigma Pensions business roundtable in Lagos recently.

Among the panelists at the roundtable, were the Chief Marketing Officer Ikeja Electric, Mr. Ugo Obi-Chukwu, Co-Founder and Managing Director, CardinalStone Capital Advisers, Mr. Femi Ogunjimi, Vice President Sahel Group, Ms. Tosin Ojo, Principal at Actis, Ms.Folaseto Akin-Olugbade and the Director Real Estate, Actis, Ms. Funke Okubadejo. 

Speaking on Nigeria’s investment climate, Uduanu said, “Nigeria could be at an inflation point and for us to come out stronger we have to believe in markets, especially with unifying exchange rates.” 

He stated that there are huge potential yet untapped in organising the informal sectors, technology as well using funding assets. 

According to him, “In terms of investments, there is a renewed focus on every alternative, whether it is real estate, or private equity. But I would like to highlight it on asset financing. Today, everybody, every school, every hospital, owns their real estate. You don’t need to own your real estate, especially as the PFAs have a lot of liquidity and this liquidity can be used to finance assets.”

For his part, Ogunjimi said that Nigeria is definitely investable, adding this was due to the way we approach our challenges.

His words, “I have a bit of a contrary view when it comes to investments. And I think it is really usually institutions of turmoil that create generational wealth because if you have a perfect environment, it’s hard to get any kind of investment when all the problems have been solved.  So the question is, how do you look at the problems we have as opportunities? I do agree that those problems create a lot of challenges, especially for us as institutional investors but for people as individual investors, I think there are a lot of opportunities.”

What we see is that it’s still going to be a good market and there are several reasons why. Firstly, the number of start-ups that are coming up, still continues to increase. 

Secondly, there is a lot of dry powder, a lot of money institutional and otherwise, that actually is looking for where to invest globally. And so as long as you have businesses that have good promoters that are willing and have the maturity to position themselves well, and as long as people are solving real-life problems, as long as entities are solving real-life problems, you are going to continue to see interest.”

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