By Nume Ekeghe in London
Citibank has projected that there would be an inflow of foreign direct investments into Nigeria in the first quarter of 2017.
The Citi Head of investment banking, Mr. Miguel Azevedo and Citi Africa Public Sector Group Head Mr. Peter Sullivan said this at the just concluded EMEA media summit by the bank held in London.
Both executives who are responsible for major Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) in Africa and Nigeria said investors still have strong appetite for Nigeria.
Sullivan said: “We do see a very strong pipeline coming in the first quarter of next year. So right now after the US elections, we think there may be a window before year end if some of the sovereigns are ready to go as people get more accustomed to president elect Trump.
“We still feel that investors have quite an appetite for Africa and are still very much interested but they will be looking at sovereigns were they are confident about their growth story and about the ability of these sovereigns to put that money to work in infrastructure in sectors that would continue to drive growth.”
Furthermore, he said: “Nigeria had gone out publicly with a request for proposal (RFP) to help them with $4.5 billion medium term note program, the results of that hasn’t been announced and we wouldn’t expect Nigeria to come into the market till the first quarter of next year.
“But I think again what we witnessed in 2016 from the funding financing point of view many if the African sovereign were really looking to maximize the amount of conventional funding. Sovereigns visited China in their first half of this year and got a number of key funding equipments around priority infrastructure projects in their respective countries, worked with works bank, Africa development bank in securing a lot of that funding.”
Also his part, Azevedo said: “There challenges in many economies like Nigeria, South Africa and Egypt. I think those economies are at different stages of addressing this crisis. If we look at Egypt, they have done a massive devaluation, Nigeria did a devaluation. So the environment is not easy.
“The whole atmosphere is one of more challenges than opportunities right now. but this is a very short term and if we look at the medium term, all the fundamental attractions of Africa are still there and we have to believe that we would back in business. The good thing of this crisis is that we are seeing the beginning of diversification happening.
“Hopefully the macroeconomic policies will be more consistent, Africa will keep rising but we are going through a bit of pause now but Africa would rise again. 2017 would be better than 2016.”