An international growth service provider, Ocorian has announced plans to increase the inflow of Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) into Nigeria, even as it highlighted the importance of alternative investment, corporate governance and adequate risk management to growing African companies and countries.
Indeed, the firm acknowledged the role FDIs play in economic development, noting that Ocorian was set up to facilitate both local and foreign investments by way of structuring.
The Regional CEO, Africa Middle East and Asia (AMEA), Ocorian, Richard Arlove, at its first edition of Ocorian forum in Lagos, said: "We provide services to international businesses that use financial centres to structure to increase and enhance their value. This is the real purpose of what we do. Africa has always been our focus and one of the biggest drivers in the continent is Nigeria. Our business is basically to help business people to invest into a country by facilitating their investments through structuring."
According to Arlove, for any nation to make remarkable progress, there must be an alignment of the business community and government.
"There should also be an alignment of human capital, financial capital, and government capital. There is need for capital to be aligned properly to allow businesses grow in Africa", he added.
He emphasized the developmental impact of alternative investment on corporates, financial institutions and the development of the African continent.
"We are here in Nigeria to match projects with money. Today we are extremely happy to run the Ocorian forum in Lagos and we are also going to be having such fora in major cities in the continent," he said.
Delivering the keynote address, the Nehemiah Youth Empowerment Initiative and Former Executive Director and Co-Founder, Sahara Group, Tonye Cole, drew attention to the role of the investment banking community to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
"The financial and economic liberation of Africa and Nigeria specifically is critical for business growth. I have over time worked with the team in charge of meeting the Sustainable Development Goals 2030 target for the economy. The United Nations estimated the capital required for the period to be $11.5 trillion. The issues related to poverty, hunger and malnourishment and zero access to basic healthcare are some of the global challenges."
A highlight of the forum was a panel discussion themed: "Adding Value to International Business in and out of Nigeria - the role played by an International Financial Centre".
The panel emphasised the need for companies on the African continent to build sustainable businesses by seeking capital from the most efficient sources for growth.
The panel also identified constraints faced by businesses as they try to raise expansion capital and proffered solutions to the problems.
The forum which brought together investment bankers, investors and policy makers highlighted the importance of alternative investment, corporate governance and adequate risk management to growing African companies and countries.