Things are good in Nigeria: Ecobank chief tells investors


Ecobank’s chief executive has urged investors to take a long-term view when investing into Africa.

Albert Essien said the floodgates of investors seen in 2014 were just a tip of iceberg of what was expected to happen.

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He told CNBC Africa that the current economic and currency headwinds in Nigeria had not affected his company immensely.

“So far so good, Nigeria is our biggest operation, even though oil and crude oil prices have had impact our business has not encountered downside risks,” he said.

“Things are good in Nigeria, we are resilient and absorbing whatever impact to date very well.”

Essien said investors needed to make long-term investments decisions as this was not an in and out thing.

“Investors need to prepare properly so as to understand the local environment, investors also need to have a focus as what one wants to do,” he added.

“I think Africa offers great opportunities, the continent offer good returns even though there are challenges these challenges are surmountable.”

Essien added that the region was anticipating much investment from the Middle East especially through financing into infrastructure development and equity financing.

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He said his group had covered much ground in attracting talent and diversifying the business in Nigeria, adding that the company was now big on transaction services.

Essien is expected to step down soon as his term comes to an end.

He said his group was expecting to announce his successor in June as his Ecobank was busy with interviews from both internal and external candidates having applied to succeed him.