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Are Investors in West Africa Shifting Focus?




With global and regional capital continuing to flow into West African Real Estate, investors are starting to diversify their funds across the region and move away from the previous Nigeria and Ghana bias.

Following from the first market correction seen in 20 years, crippling Central Bank debt and the pegging of the Naira, the reaction to Nigeria’s (in President Buhari’s words) ‘suddenly poor’ status has been fight or flight.

Some, like Novare, Old Mutual, Johnson & Johnson and Pick ‘n Pay sticking to their guns and continuing to make gains, while others, like Sun International, Tiger Brands and Truworths, choosing to take their business elsewhere.

“The Nigerian real estate investment market is experiencing a unique combination of the first economic recession in 25 years, a rapidly devaluing currency and a retail and commercial development boom. This has led to an oversupply of prime real estate at a time when tenant demand has fallen to its lowest levels in over a decade, Broll has been at the forefront in advising, leasing and marketing for a large proportion of international investors and developers. We are actively working with our clients to come up with innovative property leasing solutions by providing tenant concessions while ensuring the long-term financial viability of the asset,” says Broll Nigeria CEO, Bolaji Edu.

“While the present crisis may seem insurmountable, Nigeria’s experience is no more than the growing pains of developing economy as experienced in South America as well as Eastern Europe. Investors are still withholding from Nigeria as they wait for the storm to pass,” argues Edu.

But where are investors going?

In the midst of Nigeria’s struggles, Ghana, is slowly gaining ground again. Along with the IMF’s approval on a further $116.2 million disbursement, there is a positive shift in Ghana due to improvements in power supply, exchange rates and a stabilization in inflation. With a stable growth outlook, business views are at their most favourable levels in years. CEO of AttAfrica, Kevin Teeroovengadum, weighs in:

“Ghana had a tough 2 years spanning over 2014/15 and seem to have to reached the bottom of the cycle during the 1st semester of 2016. With the government having agreed a deal with the IMF in 2015, we’ve seen an improvement in government’s fiscal discipline, stabilisation of the Cedi, availability of dollars and less frequent cuts in power supply. All eyes are now on the presidential elections in December 2016. The general mood of the people on the streets seem to be better than last year which we can see in a rise in foot traffic and trading density at all our malls. A number of retailers are now coming back to request for new opportunities outside Accra and we’ve seen a significant rise in the leasing target of our retail development in Kumasi over the last quarter.”

Francophone nations are also gaining a place in the spotlight. While they have no doubt been developing at a rapid rate for some time, in these times, their relative stability is becoming a significant drawcard for investors in the West African region, who are starting to view West Africa more broadly than just the bright lights of Lagos. In particular, the Ivory Coast is currying some serious favour following their new title as ‘Africa’s fastest growing economy’, and a number of reforms which have resulted in impressive economic growth.

“A return to political stability, sustained infrastructure investment and stable regional currency have made Côte d’Ivoire the darling of international investors and operators among Francophone West African countries. Senegal also continues to attract investment, with smaller, more focused pockets of growth in other countries in the region. Many players are approaching these markets with a strong investment and development mandate. European or South African firms lead the pack, though we are noting growing interest from Ghanaian and Nigerian firms and investors. Côte d’Ivoire remains a frontier market, with opportunities across all asset classes as well as specific challenges: lack of transparency and low levels of local expertise are among these, but can be overcome by new entrants through in-depth knowledge of the local market,” explains Ivan Cornet, Managing Partner of Latitude Five.

This year’s West African Property Investment Summit (WAPI) aims to equip investors and other stakeholders with the necessary information and insight from top speakers and industry leaders, in order to encourage a fruitful way forward.

Beyond the possible success of starting afresh in new territory, investors also have the opportunity to learn from past experience. There are plenty of resources detailing how to navigate deals in countries like Senegal and Ivory Coast; investors also need to be prepared to do the hard work of understanding these new spaces. On the ground market research, understanding of consumer patterns as well as socio-political concerns all form part of doing effective due diligence.

From discussions around the shift in investor focus, the rapidly evolving retail sector, to navigating through negative economic climates in Nigeria and Ghana, the discussions at WAPI position stakeholders in the eye of the West African storm, with the necessary tools to help them weather it.

Top West African deals to watch

Despite the shifts in the West African real estate environment, the region is still seeing some big bill deals. Kfir Rusin, General Manager of API events breaks down the biggest investments.

    Old Mutual Investment Group and the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority raise US$500 million towards a Nigerian real estate fund

    RMB Westport launches $250 Million Fund for Nigeria, Ghana, Angola and the Ivory Coast

    Actis raises over $500m for new African real estate fund

    Novare Africa Property Fund II announced its final close at the end of June 2016, having raised $350 million for investment.

    Eris Property Group unveil plans for Agbara Industrial Estate in Lagos Nigeria

    West Africa’s largest mixed-use development, The Exchange” project at Airport City in Accra launched be Mabani Holdings Ghana Limited, in partnership with Actis LLP

    Novare’s $82.8m 22,000m2 Lekki mall began trading at the end of August 2016

    RMB Westport’s 10,800m2 Circle Mall began trading at the end of 2015

    Churchgate launch 20,000m2 World Trade Centre in Abuja

    CFAO and Carrefour open the Playce Marcory Mall, Ivory Coast, in December 2015

    Carlson Rezidor adds Ghana to its growing portfolio with the introduction of the Radisson Blu Hotel Accra Airport, The Exchange with 207 keys.

    Hilton Worldwide announced its plans to open a 350 guestroom and suite hotel at the Lagos Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Nigeria.


The West African Property Summit (WAPI) takes place in Accra, Ghana on 16 – 17 November. This two-day conference will be a deep dive into issues affecting the West African real estate market, and a start for discussion and solutions building. The summit tackles discussions around development, private equity, finance and economics, with insights from some of the best minds in real estate investment today.

In addition to the experts in this release, speakers for the summit also include:

Kojo Addo-Kufuor

Managing Director, Ghana Home Loans

Funke Okubadejo

Director: Real Estate, Actis Real Estate

Jan Van Zyl

Head of Property Development, Novare

Kofi Asomaning

Managing Director, Capri Investments

Cheick Sanankoua

Managing Partner, HC Capital

Lasse Ristolainen

Development Director: Sub-Saharan Africa, Hilton

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan. Mr Olowookere can be reached via


Stock Market Gains N1.5trn After Tinubu Vows to Jump-Start Economy



stock market bull

By Dipo Olowookere

The first trading session on the floor of the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited after the inauguration of Mr Bola Tinubu as the new President of Nigeria closed higher by 5.22 per cent on Tuesday.

Yesterday, the stock market did not open its doors to investors due to the public holiday declared by the federal government for the inauguration of the country’s 16th President.

During his inaugural speech, Mr Tinubu promised to make the business environment friendly to investors, stating that he would ensure a minimum of 6 per cent economic growth, unify the exchange rate regimes, address multiple taxes, improve the electricity supply, and others.

These assurances touched the right places and spurred stock investors to buy up some equities in anticipation of good times ahead.

It was observed that most of the sectors of the bourse leapt to levels last seen in years, as the banking space rose by 8.20 per cent. The consumer goods improved by 6.48 per cent, the industrial goods sector appreciated by 6.08 per cent, the energy index increased by 4.04 per cent, and the insurance counter grew by 2.29 per cent.

Consequently, the All-Share Index (ASI) jumped by 2,764.47 to 55,738.35 points from 52,973.88 points, and the market capitalisation rose by N1.495 trillion to N30.340 trillion from N28.845 trillion.

Business Post reports that 64 equities appreciated in price at the close of business today, and 12 shares ended on the losers’ table, indicating a very strong investor sentiment boosted by a positive market breadth index.

The strong demand for stocks on Tuesday pushed the prices of Deap Capital, FCMB, Nigerian Breweries, Jaiz Bank and Eterna higher by 10.00 per cent to 22 Kobo, N4.62, N42.35, N1.10, and N7.70, respectively.

On the flip side, Ikeja Hotel lost 10.00 per cent to trade at N2.16, NCR Nigeria depreciated by 9.80 per cent to N2.76, Tantalizers fell by 8.00 per cent to 23 Kobo, International Energy Insurance went down by 6.98 per cent to N1.20, and Consolidated Hallmark Insurance depleted by 6.56 per cent to 57 Kobo.

The most active stock of the trading session was Access Holdings, transacting 199.6 million units valued at 2.5 billion, FBN Holdings traded 127.9 million units worth 1.8 billion, Transcorp sold 95.7 million units worth N309.2 million, UBA exchanged 82.0 million units valued at N831.5 million, and GTCO transacted 76.4 million units worth N2.2 billion.

Data showed that a total of 1.1 billion stocks worth N15.8 billion exchanged hands in 9,916 deals on Tuesday compared with the 461.8 million stocks valued at N7.7 billion traded in 6,520 deals last Friday, implying an increase in the trading volume, value and number of deals by 133.49 per cent, 105.20 per cent, and 52.09 per cent, respectively.

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Adesina Tasks Tinubu on Fiscal Stability



fiscal stability

By Adedapo Adesanya

The president of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Mr Akinwumi Adesina, has tasked President Bola Tinubu to reduce the high cost of governance and ensure fiscal stability.

He made the disclosure during his speech at the Inauguration Lecture for the New President of Nigeria on May 27, 2023, in Abuja, noting that, “The starting point must be macroeconomic and fiscal stability. Unless the economy is revived and fiscal challenges addressed boldly, resources to develop will not be there.”

He noted that Nigeria currently faces huge fiscal deficits, estimated at 6 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

“This has been due to huge federal and state government expenditures, lower receipts due to dwindling revenues from crude oil export, vandalism of pipelines, and illegal bunkering of crude oil.

“According to Nigeria’s Debt Management Office, Nigeria now spends 96 per cent of its revenue servicing debt, with the debt-to-revenue ratio rising from 83.2 per cent in 2021 to 96.3 per cent by 2022.

“Some will argue that the debt to GDP ratio at 34 per cent is still low compared to other countries in Africa, which is correct, but no one pays their debt using GDP.

“Debt is paid using revenue, and Nigeria’s revenues have been declining,” he warned.

He lamented that Nigeria now earns revenue to service debt—not to grow, and advised the government to remove the inefficient fuel subsidies, a decision he adhered to on Monday.

In his words, “Nigeria’s fuel subsidies benefit the rich, not the poor, fuelling their and government’s endless fleets of cars at the expense of the poor. Estimates show that the poorest 40 per cent of the population consume just 3 per cent of petrol.

“Fuel subsidies are killing the Nigerian economy, costing Nigeria $10 billion alone in 2022. That means Nigeria is borrowing what it does not have to if it simply eliminates the subsidies and uses the resources well for its national development.”

He advised that rather support should be given to private sector refineries and modular refineries to allow for efficiency and competitiveness to drive down fuel pump prices.

“The newly commissioned Dangote Refinery by President Buhari—the largest single train petroleum refinery in the world, as well as its Petrochemical Complex—will revolutionize Nigeria’s economy,” he announced.

The former Nigerian minister of agriculture also said the country must urgently look at the cost of governance.

“The cost of governance in Nigeria is way too high and should be drastically reduced to free up more resources for development. Nigeria is spending very little on development.

“Nigeria is ranked among countries with the lowest human development index in the world, with a rank of 167 among 174 countries globally, according to the World Bank 2022 Public Expenditure Review report.

“To meet Nigeria’s massive infrastructure needs, according to the report, will require $3 trillion by 2050. According to the report, at the current rate, it would take Nigeria 300 years to provide its minimum level of infrastructure needed for development.

“All living Nigerians today, and many generations to come, will be long gone by then! We must change this. Nigeria must rely more on the private sector for infrastructure development to reduce fiscal burdens on the government,” he hammered.

He also tasked the Tinubu administration to raise tax revenue, as the tax-to-GDP ratio is still low.

“This must include improving tax collection, tax administration, moving from tax exemption to tax redemption, ensuring that multinational companies pay appropriate royalties and taxes and that leakages in tax collection are closed.”

However, he noted that simply raising taxes is not enough, “as many question the value of paying taxes, hence the high level of tax avoidance. Many citizens provide their own electricity, sink boreholes to get access to water, and repair roads in their towns and neighbourhoods.”

“These are essentially high implicit taxes. Nigerians, therefore, pay the highest ‘implicit tax rates’ in the world.

“Governments need to assure effective social contracts by delivering quality public services. It is not the amount collected, it is how it is spent and what is delivered. Nations that grow better run effective governments that assure social contracts with their citizens,” he added.

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Nigeria’s Dollar Bonds Rise After Tinubu Inauguration



Nigeria's dollar bonds

By Adedapo Adesanya

Nigeria’s dollar bonds rallied after President Bola Tinubu was officially conferred as the 16th president of Nigeria, a day that he announced plans to scrap the fuel subsidy programme, unify the exchange rate regime, as well as reduce high interest rates.

Bonds with a maturity date of 2047 jumped 3.3 per cent to 66.750 cents on the Dollar.

The debt instrument due in 2049 gained 2.9 per cent, and those maturing in 2051 advanced 3.5 per cent.

The gains came as markets in London and the US reopened following national holidays as well as a day after Mr Tinubu’s speech at his inauguration on Monday.

On fuel subsidy, Mr Tinubu said, “Subsidy can no longer justify its ever-increasing costs in the wake of drying resources. We shall instead re-channel the funds into better investment in public infrastructure, education, health care and jobs that will materially improve the lives of millions.

“We commend the decision of the outgoing administration in phasing out the petrol subsidy regime, which has increasingly favoured the rich more than the poor.”

He said that since there was no provision for subsidy in the budget from July 1, noting that the policy would be removed.

He also planned to bring Nigeria into a unilateral exchange rate regime to help staunch the continued FX crisis that has gripped investors and average Nigerians.

“The Central Bank must work towards a unified exchange rate. This will direct funds away from arbitrage into meaningful investment in the plant, equipment and jobs that power the real economy,” he said.

He also assured both local and foreign investors that his administration would move to reduce the high interest rate that has stymied faith in Nigeria being a destination for good investments.

“Interest rates need to be reduced to increase investment and consumer purchasing in ways that sustain the economy at a higher level,” Mr Tinubu said.

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