[Nigeria Business Week] Andrea Ayemoba: Nigeria sets course to unify industry benefits, lead Africa's 5G
Following a turbulent year of stock market fluctuations, restrictions related to an ongoing pandemic and varying economic instabilities, predictions on Nigeria’s performance last year ranged from inferior to mediocre to excellent. Covid-19 limitations caused a dip in SME’s contributions to GDP and capital importations rose 97% as of Q3 2021. Growth trends could be observed in industries like Agritech, Startups, ICT and Banking, while others like Insurance, Manufacturing and Energy maintain a work-in-progress status.
As of start of 2022, banks have hit the ground running, with FirstBank appointing new executive directors and United Bank for Africa expanding its artificial intelligence services. Standard Chartered Bank is taking a turn in the opposite direction, shutting down half of its branches in Nigeria. Stanbic IBTC is preparing to launch fintech operations as a response to the growing need for digital banking in the country.
Manufacturing is about to cause some changes on the stock market, with Dangote Cement making some significant purchases on the open market. Nigerian stocks did see their first loss of 2022, as a result of investors shedding consumer goods’ shares.
Total Energies has appointed a new CFO, whose appointment took effect on the first day of the year.
Reports have given Nigeria’s Energy sector a thumbs up, ranking the off-grid solar market among the fastest growing in Africa.
High expectations are also in place for 5G technology this year, with Nigeria expected to have the most number of subscribers in 2022. Other projections include the Government’s renewed investments in the housing sector and increased forex sale to Nigerian manufacturers.