GMD, Access Bank, Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede
By Obinna Chima
The Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Access Bank Plc, Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, has advised both local and foreign investors to take advantage of the infrastructural gap by investing in the country.
Aig-Imoukhuede made the call in a paper titled: “The global economy in the first half of 2012 and the impact on the Nigerian economy,” at a roundtable organised by the Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria (FICAN) in Lagos.
The Access Bank boss argued that with the ongoing reforms in the economy, the country is on the path of growth.
Aig-Imoukhuede who was represented by the Group Head, Credit Risk Management, Access Bank, said: “I can assure you that there are massive investment and growth opportunities in Nigeria. Anybody investing in Nigeria, now must understand that the upside is so great because we lack infrastructure and so many things.
“If you also look at the contraction in Europe, you will know that this is an opportunity for Nigeria to make the difference and we hope that investors can capitalise on that.”
He noted that persistent debt concerns in the euro-zone; high unemployment from other advanced countries as well as the declining contribution from emerging economies had tampered with global growth expectations for this year.
But the Executive Secretary, Financial Market Dealers Association, Mr. Wale Abe, pointed out that the shortage of funds in the system, would bring about upward pressure on the cost of funds and interest rates.
“The real sector would be worse off as they may still find it difficult to borrow. The current rising inflationary trend is unlikely to abate,” Abe added.
In his review of activities in the forex market in the first six months of the year, Currency Analyst Consultant, Forex Time Trading, West Africa, Mr. Bade-Ajidahun Oladahun, expressed disappointment over the performance of the naira against the dollar.
“The trend so far in the Nigerian forex market has been quite disappointing. And this largely caused by the poor economic performance of the country, insecurity issues, and poorly implemented economic policy.
This has driven the exchange rate in the parallel market to about N164 to a dollar. Although we have some promising reforms going on in the country, but the effect may be seen later, probably between 2013 and 2014,” he said.
Head, Equity Research, FBN Capital Limited, Mr. Olubunmi Asaolu, maintained that the economy would witness contraction in loan this half of the year because of further liquidity tightening measures adopted the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). This is said could be “potentially negative for mid-tier banks; larger banks with more liquidity likely to be unaffected.”
He predicted modest improvement in GDP growth in 2012 to 7.5 per cent and 8 per cent in 2013.