Everest Amaefule, Abuja
Nigeria accounted for $7bn of the $38.7bn inflows that were secured for the African continent at the maiden edition of the African Investment Forum, which held in South Africa in November 2018, the African Development Bank has said.
The Senior Country Director for Nigeria at AfDB, Mr Ebrima Faal, disclosed this in Abuja on Tuesday at a roadshow to promote the second edition of the forum coming up in South Africa in November.
He disclosed that the AfDB would be increasing its average investment in Africa from about $600m every year to about $1bn per annum in the next three years.
Faal said that transactions at the forum that were designated for Nigeria accounted for 14.9 per cent of the deals that were closed at the investment market, which the bank conceived to expose bankable projects on the continent to investors from across the globe.
He said, “The Africa Investment Forum aims to change the face of investment in Africa by bringing together members with a vested interest in Africa’s growth and development through business transformation.
“It is a multi-stakeholder and multi-disciplinary collaborative platform for international business and social impact investors looking to invest on the continent. It is a highly-transactional marketplace dedicated to advancing projects to bankable stages, raising capital, and accelerating the financial closure of deals.
“Sufficient to say now that it convened over 2,000 participants representing 87 countries, including eight heads of governments in 2018. Deals worth a total of $46.9bn were discussed with 49 deals valued at $38.7bn secured.”
The AfDB boss added, “At the 2018 Africa Investment Forum, West Africa accounted for 36 per cent of the deals that were closed. Nineteen projects worth $16.1bn were presented, of which 16 projects valued at $13.1bn secured investment. Our region grossed the highest value in deals, followed by the host region accounting for 22.7 per cent.
“Nigeria was very visible. Out of the 63 boardroom deals presented at the forum, Nigeria had five deals worth $7bn. This represents 14.9 per cent of the total deals accounted for the continent, and 43 per cent of the deals accounted for the region; we can do better.
“This year, it is paramount that we not only maintain our place as a pacesetter but also collectively strive to improve on the quality and quantity of deals closed.”
Faal said that the Africa Investment Forum offered a unique opportunity to exhaust numerous options for sound, innovative and economically viable growth for the continent and especially for Nigeria.
According to him, even with gross international reserves of about $45bn and a pension fund of about N8tn, Nigeria will need a considerable amount of private finance to bridge its cumulative infrastructural needs of about $3tn by 2024.
He added that Africa continued to demonstrate economic resilience with an expected Gross Domestic Product growth of four per cent in 2019, signifying growth above expectation.
Faal said that the signing of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement by President Muhammadu Buhari had now made Africa the largest market in the world in terms of value and numbers.