“I am very optimistic. Nigeria is the biggest country in Africa with the largest population. Africa’s population is projected to grow to 1.4 billion people by 2015, that’s a massive population,” Bisi Onasanya, Group Managing Director of First Bank Nigeria told CNBC Africa.
With the continent developing a strong middle class which demands Fast Moving Consumer Goods and telecoms services, enormous investment opportunities are being created.
“The yields and returns on investments in this part of the world is superior to what you get from other parts of the world. Sometimes I think the risks are over hyped to the extent that they scare away some potential investors,” he explained.
While the risks of doing business on the continent constantly seems to be at forefront of many investors, Onasanya believes not doing business in Africa could be to the detriment of any wise investor.
“If you look at MTN for instance, they’ve made about 2 billion dollars in profit on an annual basis from the operations in Nigeria. My worry is, what else do we need to put in place to explain to the whole world that Nigeria is ready for foreign direct investment and to attract investments into [the country],” he added.
Recently, the multinational brewing company SABMiller announced plans to expand their production capacity in Nigeria using an initial investment of over 110 million US dollars making it the single largest investment in Anambra, the south eastern state of Nigeria, for almost 20 years.
According to Onasanya, the strong presence of Nigerian leadership that was present at the World Economic Forum in Davos last week, showed the country’s commitment to attracting investors into Nigeria and confirmed that the West African state is ready to receive the rest of the world.
“When you see successful business men also being a part of the team, they are also telling their counterparts that look, here I am, learn from my example. Aliko [Dangote] was also there, he made all his money from Nigeria, now, he’s expanding to the rest of Africa. What more evidence do you need to see that Nigeria is a very friendly environment for investments?” he concluded.