This Day (Lagos)

2 November 2012

Nigeria: Okonjo-Iweala Woos Global Investors to Nigeria

The Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Thursday called on the global investment community to increase their investments in Nigerian companies.

She made the call in London while delivering the keynote address at the London Stock Exchange (LSE)'s annual African Investment Summit.

According to her, Nigeria's potential as Africa's largest economy would soon be realised, noting that a strong corporate sector is an essential condition for a strong economy.

"I'm delighted to be speaking at this important summit. Building on the strong ties that link Nigeria and London will help drive awareness of the exciting investment opportunities in our country and highlight the profile of Nigeria's many world-class companies.

"Developing strong, transparent economies with a backbone of local, well-financed companies able to invest locally as well as continent-wide is a key step in Africa's development. This event is clear evidence of the exceptional levels of enthusiasm international investors share with me about Nigeria and Africa's growth potential," she said.

A statement from the LSE, made available to THISDAY said that before delivering the key address, Okonjo-Iweala had earlier opened the day's trading at the LSE, joined by senior executives from some of Africa's leading businesses and the exchange.

The summit featured the participation of 13 companies from seven African countries from sectors including financial services, telecommunications, oil and gas, mining, food production and retail.

The event allows the companies to engage with over 100 London-based and international analysts and potential investors as well as hearing from leading African business leaders, experts and government ministers.

Dangote Cement Plc, Diamond Bank, Ecobank Group and Guaranty Trust Bank are some of the companies from Nigeria that participated in the summit.

Commenting on the summit, the Chief Executive Officer of LSE, Xavier Rolet, said: "With 98 African-focused companies listed on our markets, and African companies having raised over $5.7 billion since 2008, London is the global gateway for fast growing African companies to access global investment funds.

"As the event demonstrated, there is an unrivalled community of analysts and investors in London focussed on the exciting business opportunities Africa has to offer."

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