Impact investing is seen bridging the gap in the Nigerian economy by bolstering participation in the Agriculture, health, and education sectors with human capacity building as the catalyst.
Operators in the sector said that impact investing set the agenda for a sustainable public-private partnership that will create an impact on the economy.
They made this known during the panel session titled ‘Fireside Chat: Charting the Path Forward: Global Leadership in Sustainable Finance and Lessons for Nigeria’ at the ongoing 6th convening on impact investing themed “Catalytic Capital for Inclusive Growth and Development.” in Lagos.
Ibukun Awosika, chairperson of the Nigerian National Advisory Board for Impact Investing (NABII), said that the focus should be on health care, agriculture, and education to improve the state of the country’s economy.
According to her, impact investing supersedes its traditional counterpart on the back of not just looking at profit but improving lives and building a better environment.
“We must build the society as an environment where we can tap the best mind for the benefit of the nation. It is not an option,”
“There is a lot (impact) investment going into millions of Nigerians, smallholder farmers, working across small land pieces to make it as efficient as it is,” she said. “We can show people the economic value chain in agriculture including the Green Revolution as we educate a lot of our young minds as to make resources available.”
According to her, impact investing is not just about agriculture but includes its value chain and all the value, jobs, and the new economy that can be created.
Impact investing is an investment strategy that seeks to achieve social or environmental goals, as well as generate profit, according to Investopedia. Unlike philanthropic endeavours, impact investors typically expect a return on their investment, although this may be a secondary consideration.
Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), calls for female inclusion in all strata of the economy. He said that educating the female child would lead to an improved economy and a slow population number for the country.
Talking about resistance to change, Sanusi said that it must happen for the collective growth of the economy, citing how he promoted eight female directors during his first year as the CBN governor.
“And these women performed much better than expected,” he said. “Once people realise that this is transformative for the country, they’ll embrace it rather than resist.”