Mr Robert Hersov, Founder, Invest Africa, has urged local entrepreneurs to leverage partnership in order to scale up businesses and attract capital.
Hersov said this during an international web conference organised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) on Tuesday.
The News of Nigeria reports that the conference had as its theme: “Access to International Capital and Funding Solutions for Nigerian Businesses”.
Hersov said the development of strong business relationships with the right funding partners would encourage investors provide further opportunities and create room for regional expansion.
He said that a Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threat (SWOT) analysis revealed that Nigeria had an advantage of a huge population with over 60 per cent young and active persons providing services.
He also noted that huge investment opportunities abound in the financial sector and processing value chain of the agricultural sector.
Hersov added that the nation possessed a largely well educated workforce, high urbanization, robust banking and financial sectors, improving electricity regulatory situation, strong expatriate sector with huge diaspora remittance and fantastic entrepreneurial culture.
He, however, advised Nigeria to improve on its poor reputation and
image problem, unemployment, poverty, policy inconsistency, high operational cost, lack of beneficiation on raw materials, bureaucracy, undeveloped transport and energy infrastructure.
“Nigeria should be the top of the list for investors as it has the draw for foreign investors.
“However, threats such as high costs of doing business, lack of access to capital by over 90 per cent of Small and Medium Enterprises (SME), low budget allocation for health and education sectors existed.
“Also, currency depreciation and convertibility challenges and tough processes hindered foreign direct investment,” he said.
He listed transparent reporting and governance, track record of performance and growth, aligned management teams as standard requirements to accessing international funding.
In her remarks, the LCCI President, Mrs Toki Mabogunje, represented by Mrs Mojisola Bakare, her Vice President, said the size of credit to private sector (as percentage of GDP) was largely insufficient to meet the demand for finance by private sector.
This, Mabogunje explained, created a huge funding gap and liquidity challenge to meet working capital requirements and finance new projects and expansion of existing ones.
“Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses were increasingly finding it difficult to access finance through the domestic financial system given the high borrowing costs associated with credit facility in conventional banking system.
“Moreover, COVID-19 has elevated the risks and uncertainties around capital and finance generally in view of deteriorating business and economic outlook.
“This scenario therefore reinforces the need for businesses to explore alternative funding solutions available on global as well local space,” she said.
Edited By: Wale Ojetimi (NAN)
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