• Saturday, June 22, 2024
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EnterpriseNGR to position Lagos as African financial services hub

EnterpriseNGR to position Lagos as African financial services hub

EnterpriseNGR, a professional financial services and advocacy group, is perfecting plans to position Nigeria as Africa’s premier financial destination with Lagos State at the front.

Speaking during the 2023 Quarterly Members’ Night hosted by Templars in Lagos recently, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, chairman of EnterpriseNGR, said the body discovered that nations that have excelled in the financial sector, established a city to serve as a premier financial destination.

According to him, the body is partnering with Lagos State to drive the vision of seeing Lagos as the entry point for investments in Nigeria because it has a strong opportunity to become the gateway for important investments.

He said EnterpriseNGR has also studied how the United Kingdom attracted massive investments and discovered that it had a body called TheCityUK, an initiative by the government and the private sector to push for the UK-based financial and related professional services industry.

He said there is Dubai International Financial Centre and in Singapore, there is actually an enterprise in Singapore that has pushed the agenda adding that Botswana and Mauritius have been focusing on policies to make their states an international financial centre to attract massive investments.

He further disclosed that Lagos will be the first in Africa to participate in the Lord Mayor of the City parade, which will provide Nigeria with an opportunity to engage with the big movers and shakers of the UK to talk about investments.

Also, Obi Ibekwe, CEO of EnterpriseNGR, said the two-year-old body has been able to unite the voice of the financial and professional services sector by growing membership from seven at the commencement date to 23 across all categories.

She said the number is remarkable judging by the significant financial commitment that members have to make as they come on board to demonstrate their commitment to EnterpriseNGR’s vision.

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On his part, Chike Obianwu, deputy managing partner of Templars, a leading commercial law firm with offices in Nigeria and Ghana and a founding member, said it joined hands with like minds to found EnterpriseNGR.

He said the idea was to have a common voice to influence policy, advance the private sector in the financial and professional services sector, and build capacity among the youth in order to grow opportunities for new talent and for employers in financial and professional services.

Obianwu said that as a law firm, Templars has advised on some of the largest and most complex transactions and projects in Nigeria and Ghana such as the ongoing public debt restructuring in Ghana, the financing and development of the Lekki Deep Seaport project and the $3 billion financing for the development of Nigeria LNG’s Train 7 project.

“We have also just sponsored a discussion in partnership with the Capital Market Solicitors Association, which is the trade association of capital markets lawyers in Nigeria on recent developments in sub-Saharan African sovereign debt space and their implications for Nigeria,” he said.

According to him, it was to draw lessons from the challenges of other countries in order to provide a roadmap to Nigeria’s new government on how to handle the Nigerian sovereign debt and avoid distress.

Meanwhile, Ibekwe said the body has been attracting top-quality talents to the sector and by the end of 2023, it must have trained almost 1,000 in the sector.

She pointed out that the association wants to promote mutual cooperation, exchange of best practices, and collaborate on projects that will drive sustainable economic development.

She said as a member of the World Alliance of International Financial Centres (IFCs), EnterpriseNGR is working with other African members of the association namely Morocco, Rwanda, and Mauritius to create an African chapter of the World Alliance of IFCs.

Ibekwe affirmed the body is also partnering with Lagos to position the City of Lagos as the prime investment destination in Africa because Lagos is a major economic force not only in Nigeria but in sub-Saharan Africa.