African investment banking franchise, Emerging Africa Group (EAG) is to, within the next two years, raise a minimum of N250 billion to finance infrastructure development and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Northern Nigeria.
Oluwatoyin Sanni, the executive vice chair, EAG who disclosed this, said the North requires huge financing, especially in infrastructure in order to speed up development in the region.
“There can’t be development or growth without adequate infrastructure, so what we aim to do is to help them (North) raise funds for infrastructure development. As we speak, we have gone on four different exercises to raise funds for road development in Niger state,” Sanni said during the launch of a new Emerging Africa office in Abuja.
“So first of all, we offer northern states the opportunity to raise funds from the capital market, by private bonds and notes for all their different infrastructure needs. We are also involved in raising funds for some state-backed initiatives. We also provide micro, small and medium-scale enterprises finance for that ordinarily struggle to raise capital and we have many of them both in the north and the rest of Nigeria and Africa,” she further said.
Sanni disclosed that Emerging Africa had set out a target to raise up to $1 billion over a five-year period for businesses in Nigeria and the rest of Africa when it started business, but said the company successfully met the target three and half years into the plan.
The executive vice chair said the Group has now set a fresh target to raise $4 billion over the next five years for businesses in Africa.
On how the Group raises capital, she explained, “When we target to raise this capital, what we do is that we match-make between the surplus segment of the economy and the deficit segment. We look for partners, local banks, international banks, development finance institutions, similar investment banks like us, institutional investors, and wealthy families. We crowd them all in, to invest in segments and sectors that we think can have a catalytic effect for the development of our economy,” she stated.
On the infrastructure funding for the development of Niger State, Sanni informed that the Group did a final signing ceremony for a private bond that it raised, to the tune of N13.2 billion. According to her, the funding was raised for a private infrastructure funding company that would then deploy the money to the development of projects within the state.
“That way we bring private sector accountability, private sector transparency and unique funding structure. Niger state is a partner and a beneficiary to that funding.”
The executive vice-chairman said the Group decided to open a more befitting office in Abuja to provide investment management, wealth management, trust services, capacity building, financial technology solutions to develop Abuja and its environs.
“We are bringing funding access, investment management capability, recent technical skills, we are bringing transparency and quality investment management services to Abuja,” she said.