Nigeria’s 97 firms topped the lists of the London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG)’s and the PwC’s Companies to Inspire Africa 2019 edition.
This represents about 30 percent increase of the numbers of Nigerian companies meeting this height this year over about 60 percent recorded in the previous edition of 2017.
The report is a pioneering publication by the LSEG, which identifies and celebrates some of Africa’s most inspiring growth businesses. The research project is carried out with the support of PwC, the Africa Development Bank Group, Asoko Insight, CDC Group, and Instinctif Partners.
The launch of the 2019 edition of the report was held in collaboration with the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) in Lagos on Thursday.
One of such Nigerian companies that made the list was ARM Life Plc, due to its laudable achievement and the unique contribution of growth of the company to the national Gross Domestic Product, and the Olori Cosmetics, among others.
This is coming as the total market cap of African companies listed on LSE currently stands at $197 billion, while African companies raised $1.3bn s on main market in 2018 Year-T-Date (YTD).
Similarly, $39.3 billion was raised in African bonds in 2018 YTD. In 2018, 15 African issuers from 9 countries launched 55 bonds on the London market.
The 2019 report identifies 360 companies from 32 countries across seven major sectors represented. Nigeria has the single largest representation with 97 companies featured. Nigeria further built on its leading position established in the 2017 report with strong representation from the industry and technology and telcom sectors.
Nigeria companies showed exceptional growth rates with a Compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 47 percent in revenue and average employee CAGR of 23 percent over a three-year period.
Looking at the executive leadership of the firms, 22 percent of the Nigerian companies featured are led by women entrepreneurs.
Speaking at the event, Harriet Thompson, British deputy high commissioner to Nigeria said these companies have the potential to transform Nigerian economy. She added that the United Kingdom (UK) is ready to help Nigeria realise its potentials.
In his welcome address, Uyi Akpata, country senior partner, PwC Nigeria, said growing a private business can be demanding and exhilarating, adding that initiatives like this that celebrate success stories does not only expose the companies to greater opportunities but also serves to encourage other entrepreneurs, starting new businesses or scaling existing ones in the region.
“We at PwC are committed to supporting private businesses and it’s been our pleasure to host and celebrate these 97 companies here in Lagos along with other partners on the project,” Akpata said.
According to the LSEG, the criteria for giving the awards to ARM Life are its high standards of corporate governance, year on year growth trajectory, ethical business practices: challenging the status quo and being the benchmark for competition in this regard.
In the Nigerian insurance industry, ARM Life Plc was respected for its ethical business standards, professionalism and excellent customer experience which had impacted its business operations.
Stephen Alangbo, managing director, ARM Life, while speaking on the recognition said, “This in turn makes us a delight to our customers and partners thereby gaining their loyalty.”
He explained that the company’s YoY growth achieved in gross premium written, profitability and policy count were attributable to the unique strategy and values of the organisation.
Dapo Abiodun, governor of Ogun State, was the keynote speaker. He took the investors who gathered at the event through the opportunities in Ogun State.
Other speakers at the event included Oscar Onyema, CEO, NSE, Yewande Sadiku, executive secretary, Nigeria Investment Promotion Council (NIPC), Okechukwu Enelamah, former minister of industry, trade and investment, Ibukun Adebayo, director, co-head emerging markets international markets units, LSEG, and Toyin Odulate, CEO and founder, Olori Cosmetics, among others.