Nigeria’s economy has taken yet another swipe as the International Finance Corporate (IFC) has delisted Nigeria from among the top five countries that are positioned to attract private investment in emerging markets.
IFC is an arm of the World Bank focused on investing in emerging markets. The development has come as a result of many infrastructural lapses that have hindered economic progress in the country.
The country manager of IFC Eme Essien Lore said on Friday at the 2nd private equity summit organized by Udo Udoma & Bello Osagie that Nigeria has enough natural mineral deposits to do better than other African countries. She said the country has failed to utilize its human capital as well as other resources for national development.
According to her, Nigeria is now placed among the top 10 economies where investors should look to invest, losing its place from top five where she used to be. This is because the country is surrounded with many challenges that have hindered its economic progress. They range from declining per capital income to external imbalance, increasing poverty as well as disturbing human capital indicators in health and education.
Lore said there is no excuse for Nigeria to lose its place among the top five countries in Africa, and needs to put economic policies in place to get back to the position.
“Nigeria should be in the top five given the enormous need we have for private capital. But we are not there because we are shying away from the reforms that can attract capital. An annual growth rate of 2 percent is poor for a developing economy adjudged to have the opportunity to grow between 7-10 percent annually,” she said.
Lore added that the slow pace of the economy is clouding potential growth and favorable demographics in Nigeria, and urged the government to affect the needed reforms that will translate to economic developments that will entice investors.
Meanwhile, Interswitch Limited has on Friday, 31 January listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) with N23 billion bond. The Callable Senior Unsecured Bond, with a tenor of seven years, at a fixed rate of 15 percent, is part of a N30 billion Debt Issuance Programme issued through a Special Purpose vehicle – Interswitch Africa.
“We are pleased to be a partner to Interswitch Limited in its quest to expand its footprints by raising fresh capital,” said Oscar Onyema the Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian Stock Exchange. “We see a win for Interswitch as a win for Nigeria. As a sustainable Exchange and a premiere listing destination, we are committed to supporting our issuers with tailored financing options that will place them in a vantage position to compete in the regional and global markets.”
Interswitch Limited is a Nigerian digital payment company that provides digitized payment services in Nigeria and other African countries. The company has defied the odds of doing business in Nigeria and Africa to rise to the level of getting listed in the NSE.
Parties to the transaction are Stanbic IBTC Capital and FBNQuest Merchant Bank that served as Lead Financial Advisors/Issuing Houses, and ABSA Capital Markets Nigeria, FCMB Capital Markets, Rand Merchant Bank Nigeria and Quantum Zenith Capital & Investment.
The Group Managing Director/Founder Interswitch limited, Mitchell Elegbe expressed his gratitude to the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
“We are delighted with the outcome of our capital raising efforts. We have evolved over the past 17 years into a technology unicorn focused on providing digital solutions to customers in Nigeria and across Africa. We, therefore, see this listing as the first step in a new phase of our journey and we are determined to keep going,” he said.
Interswitch Limited was founded in 2002 as a payment processing company, and has gone ahead of the competition with its verve card; it is currently Nigeria’s most used card that accounts for 18 million out of 25 million cards in use in the country. It is also available in two other African countries; Kenya and Uganda.