Citigroup to engage in corporate lending


“Across the continent – whether the southern, eastern or the western part of the continent, we see substantial growth in our customer activities,” Ade Ayeyemi, Citi CEO, Sub-Saharan Africa told CNBC Africa.

Ayeyemi was recently appointed to head Citi’s Sub-Saharan division and believes that the growth in the economy across Sub-Saharan Africa will continue.

“If you look at the economy across the Sub-Sahara, we’ll be growing at about six to seven per cent and we see that going forward into the future and our clients demand for banking and financial services therefore, it continues to grow,” he said.


Despite the present slow growth of global economies, the Nigerian economy remains impressive.

“Going to Nigeria, our strategy remains consistent with focusing on the cooperate sector, the financial institutions and the public sector because Nigeria and the rest of the African continent but our focus on Nigeria, the demand, the urbanisation, the retail sector continues to grow to create demand for the firms to be able to meet the demands of its customers,” said Ayeyemi.

According to Ayeyemi, the firm has to deal with several regulatory regimes, both globally and locally and execute the best of the regulations that they are expected to adhere to.

“As a global organisation, we try to bring the best practises to the continent, and we want to work with all the regulators in the market where we operate to get to the best standard,” he said.

However, Citi has no plans of releasing a retail product despite the strong growth in Africa’s middle class.

“At the moment, we are not looking at retail but that does not mean that it doesn’t present opportunities to other firms. It’s always important to play to your strength if you want to win,” said Ayeyemi.