Priotising Post COVID-19 Recovery in Nigeria

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As a leading player in the fight against climate change and a UK champion of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, the CDC Group’s recent virtual visit to Nigeria was to understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and growth recovery process beyond the crisis, writes Chiemelie Ezeobi

To reiterate its commitment to economic development and growth recovery beyond the COVID-19 pandemic and its resultant crisis, the CDC Group, a leading player in the fight against climate change and a UK champion of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, recently paid a virtual visit to Nigeria.

CDC Group’s Chief Executive, Nick O’Donohoe and Chairman, Graham Wrigley, led a delegation of its Board members on a virtual visit to Nigeria on September 21 and 22.

According to the Press and Public Affairs Officer, British Deputy High Commission, Lagos, Ndidiamaka Eze, the CDC Group is the UK’s development finance institution and impact investor. Funded by the UK Government, all proceeds from its investments are reinvested to improve the lives of millions of people in Africa and South Asia.

She noted that the delegation had the pleasure of meeting the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo; the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, and others, to understand the impact of CDC’s support to its investees through the COVID-19 crisis and understand how to stimulate recovery and growth.

Also, she said discussions also focused on CDC’s own response to the pandemic through its
preserve, strengthen and rebuild programme and, CDC’s continued role in supporting the economic ecosystem of Nigeria, particularly through the imperative lens of a green recovery.

During the virtual tour, she said CDC met local businesses leaders, learning more about what they need to grow their companies and how investors can support their ambitions, adding that CDC is an active investment partner in Nigeria and has over 70 years’ experience investing across Africa.

She said: “Nigeria represents a key market for CDC which has US$425 million currently invested in the country. Its portfolio of nearly 100 businesses supports nearly 38,000 jobs; CDC also partners 40 investment funds. Benson Adenuga is CDC’s Head of Office & Coverage Director in Nigeria. Investment partnerships include Afreximbank, Africa Capital Alliance and Indorama.

In his speech, Chief Executive Officer, CDC Group, Nick O’Donohoe said: “Nigeria plays a key part in our strategy of partnership and investment for economic growth in West Africa. Hosting our 2020 board trip– albeit virtually – in both markets is a testament to our commitment.

“Looking forward, we will continue to prioritise the post COVID-19 recovery, as part of the Build Back Better agenda. We are committed to supporting a deeper and more strategic bilateral partnership between the UK and Nigeria that is based on enhancing economic development, job creation, inclusion, trade and investment.”

Also speaking, British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing CBE said: ““CDC plays an important role in creating jobs and supporting the growth of businesses by investing in the poorest countries across Africa, including Nigeria, to help develop economies and improve people’s lives.

“CDC’s commitment to the country signals to other UK investors that investing in Nigeria is possible and should be prioritised in order to help Nigeria and indeed, Africa, mitigate the impact of COVID-19.”

Giving further details about the CDC, the Press & Public Affairs Officer, said CDC Group is the UK’s first impact investor with over 70 years of experience of successfully supporting the sustainable, long-term growth of businesses in South Asia and Africa.

She said: “CDC is a leading player in the fight against climate change and a UK champion of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals – the global blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for us all.

“The company has investments in over 1,200 businesses in emerging economies and a total portfolio value of £5.8bn. This year CDC will invest in companies in Africa and Asia with a focus on fighting climate change, empowering women and creating new jobs and opportunities for millions of people.

“CDC is funded by the UK Government and all proceeds from its investments are reinvested to improve the lives of millions of people in Africa and South Asia.

“CDC’s expertise makes it the perfect partner for private investors looking to devote capital to making a measurable environmental and social impact in countries most in need of investment.”