The chief executive officer of UBA Capital says though the prevailing conditions in the sector were encouraging more investment was required.
“We have all the indices to make the country the major food basket of the whole world as we have cheap labour, massive arable land conducive climate,” Sanni explained.
“We have challenges around agricultural infrastructure such as in processing, packaging and preservation.”
Sanni said one of the major highlights this year has been Seplat’s listing because it was the first of its kind dual listing, both on the Nigeria Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange.
(WATCH VIDEO: Understanding the Seplat dual IPO)
“We think the response of the markets to that stock was very encouraging and this suggests that there will be an appetite for that kind of issuance going forward,” she said.
The challenge facing the markets currently is that the required fundamentals are not strong enough.
She noted that there were also concerns around liquidity issues and also a relative level of general public investor apathy though institutional investors having been positive.
The country’s legislative assembly has been working on legal framework to ensure an improvement in the number of companies listing on the stock market.
“The bill being mooted by the parliament on initial public offering and public listing compelling companies worth 80 billion naira could be positive for the markets,” she noted.
“When you recognise how much wealth some of these companies created largely for private players and foreign investors, one would hope they should open up and share that wealth with Nigerians.”
Sanni says investment banks have supported infrastructural development tremendously with examples of acquisitions in power generation assets and oil and gas transactions.