Nigerian Banks Capable To Support Big-Ticket Transactions—Adeduntan
By Bliss Okperan
The Managing Director and chief executive of First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Mr Adesola Adeduntan, has disclosed that financial institutions in the country have the balance sheet to support big-ticket transactions, particularly from offshore investors.
President Bola Tinubu travelled to the United States last week for the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) and went with some businessmen and bank executives, including Mr Adeduntan.
The Nigerian leader used the occasion to urge foreign investors to bring their funds into the country because he would create a business-friendly environment to make their investments grow.
Nigeria, which is the largest economy in Africa, has witnessed a significant decline in foreign exchange (FX) inflows due to bad leadership and unstable policies.
The shrinking of forex inflows is putting pressure on the Naira, prompting Mr Tinubu to cry out to investors outside the country to put their funds into the economy.
In an interview with Arise TV, the First Bank chief said Nigerian Banks, especially First Bank, can handle foreign investors, inviting them to quickly tap into the opportunities before they become too late.
“As banks, we do have the balance sheet to support these big-ticket transactions. The Nigerian banking sector has also matured significantly. We have structuring capabilities that allow us to lead the funding-raising efforts for these transactions,” the banker stated.
“In another 10 years or so, the population of Africa is expected to be bigger than China.
“Just imagine a market that is bigger than China in another couple of years; that is the kind of market that we should showcase to foreign investors.
“The president has been very emphatic; his agenda has been about inclusive growth, which is quite significant.
“I think the time is right; anybody that finds his way to our country at this particular point in time, in another five years, the person would be smiling to the bank,” Mr Adeduntan added.
However, he advised the federal government to identify top priority areas where it would like investment to come in.
Business Post reports that First Bank is not among the three top lenders attracting capital inflow into the country. The top three are Citibank, Standard Chartered, and Stanbic IBTC.