FBN Capital’s 3rd annual investor conference was themed 'Tomorrow’s Nigeria through Economic Empowerment' held in Lagos, Nigeria.
“This trend of economic empowerment and private sector empowerment started in 2000 and really gained momentum in the last two years,” Kayode Akinkugbe, FBN Capital’s Managing Director told CNBC Africa’s Didi Akinleyure.
As the private sector now has significant investments in the power sector, there is increased confidence in the success of the power sector. Nonetheless, the government needs to continue to create conducive environments for success to be fully achieved.
“For me, the critical thing is what government is doing, creating policies that are enabling and that are investor friendly,” he said.
While the government has begun on the right path, their investments still need to focus more and be challenged more towards social infrastructure.
The conference was organised to create an encouraging forum for key policy makers, regulators and the private sector to engage in a way that we can think of the best and most innovative ways to drive development and stimulate growth in country.
“It’s consistent with the theme of certainly creating that forum for people to exchange ideas. We certainly had very informative and interesting presentations that hopefully will give the audience a bit of food for thought and the opportunity to go away and think about how to do better,” he explained.
According to Akinkugbe, it is always very reassuring to hear people who are independent of the country show some of the things that we are unable to see because we are so immersed in it.
“Definitely, it’s to create a situation where a lot of people can believe there’s a lot of opportunity to aspire for.”
Although investment banking in the country is still in its early stages of development, with the present drive towards infrastructure and power sector reforms, there is a funding gap that can’t be filled by the commercial banks.
“Really, in order to fund long term projects, you need long term capital. This is not the traditional burden of commercial banks so we think the potential for investment banking is significant,” he concluded.