The Emerging Africa Group (EAG), an African investment banking franchise, has said that it will raise a minimum of N250bn capital, in the next two years, to finance infrastructure development and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Northern Nigeria.
The Executive Vice Chair, EAG, Mrs. Oluwatoyin Sanni, said this at the formal launch of the organization’s regional office on Thursday in Abuja.
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She the North requires huge financing especially in infrastructure in order to speed up development in the region.
“There cannot be development or growth without adequate infrastructure, so what we aim to do is to help them raise funds (North) for infrastructure development. As we speak, we have gone on four different exercises to raise funds for road development in Niger State,” Sanni said.
She said that first of all, the EAG offer Northern states an opportunity to raise funds from the capital market, buy private bonds and notes for all their different infrastructure needs.
Sanni said, “We are also involved in raising funds for some state-backed initiatives. We also provide Micro and SME finance for these small businesses that ordinarily struggle to raise capital and we have many of them both in the North and the rest of Nigeria and Africa.”
She also said that Emerging Africa had set out a target to raise up to $1bn over a five-year period for businesses in Nigeria and the rest of Africa when it started business, but said the company successfully met the target three and half years into the plan.
The Executive Vice Chair said the group has set a fresh target to raise $4bn over the next five years for businesses in Africa.
On how the organisation raises capital, she said, “When we target to raise this capital, what we do is that we match-make between the surplus segment of the economy and the deficit segment. We look for partners, local banks, international banks, development finance institutions, similar investment banks like us, institutional investors and wealthy families. We crowd them all in, to invest in segments and sectors that we think can have a catalytic effect for the development of our economy.”
She also said that the infrastructure funding for development of roads in Niger State, was one of the highlights pf a final signing ceremony for a private bond that it raised, to the tune of N13.2bn.
She said the funding was raised for a private infrastructure funding company that would then deploy the money to the development of projects in the state.
“That way we bring private sector accountability, private sector transparency and unique funding structure. Niger state is a partner and a beneficiary to that funding,” she said.