By Ugo Aliogo
The Chief Executive Officer of General Electrics, (GE) Lazarus Angbazo, has stated that the Nigeria business environment has not favoured the listing of GE in the Nigeria Stock Exchange Market (NSE) despite being a net investor in the country.
Angbazo disclosed this in Lagos at the America Business Council (ABC) media launch aimed at showcasing the first comprehensive business survey of US firms operating in the country.
He said that the direct benefit for GE to be listed on the NSE is basically to raise capital locally, but at the moment it is not the priority, adding that the company is a global firm and any investor, who is interested in buying the GE stocks is able to access it on the globalÂ stock exchanges.
Angbazo also noted that it is difficult to be listed in all of the relatively smaller stock exchange market in the world and GE is listed only in New York Stock (NYSC). He expressed confidence that a day is coming when GE would consider local capital raising either through the stock exchange or the bond market.
He noted that as a net investor, GE has contributed immensely to the Nigeria economy through its investments.
According to him, US companies have played a significant role in the development of the economy since 1960, stressing that as a result the partnership between Nigeria and the US continues to improve and these companies continue to grow their businesses.
In his remarks, A Partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Darren Mcgraw, said in 2017, major investments were made by Karelux with Tolaram Group and the investments are coming to fruition.
Continuing, Angbazo said ABC is an integral stakeholder in the Nigeria-US Bi-National Commission (BNC) meeting with the US mission which is aimed at building partnership for tangible and measureable progress on issues critical to the US and Nigeriaâ€™s shared future.
He added that the among other policy drive and regulatory reforms, the council has organised strategic discussions with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Minister for Trade and Investment and the Minister for Budget and Planning, â€œall of whom who have sought the councilâ€™s feedback and input on major policy decisions, including the Economic Recovery Growth and Recovery Plan (ERGP).â€
According to Angbazo, â€œI think the diversification strategy which the government has launched is brilliant and we are all for it. We are very supportive of it as the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP). We have a document that talks about the priorities for economic growth and development. Within that document we outlined the key sectors we believe are critical to the quantum leap growth of Nigeria as we see. This includes basic infrastructure and human capital development, business climate, and the financial sector management. This talks at length about why it is so important that we address those issues in order to attract investments.
â€œIt is also important to talk about the policies and the environment that is critical to retaining what we already have. Another thing critical for us is how we continue to invest so that Nigeria becomes the export hub for West Africa that for us is key. Those are the policy areas we have engaged with various governments entities.
â€œAs you can see it has yielded some results. We have shared this advocacy document to government; they have been receptive to it. We have also used it to advocate for net inflow of investments in Nigeria and it is a very simple message. Nigeria is only one option for companies such as GE. The country needs to do what should be done for attracting investments in the country.â€