[Nigeria Business Week] Forging bonds at new levels, China bets higher
It gets more challenging by the day to keep up with the pace of the Nigerian economy. At first glance, it seems business as usual, but that could not be farther from reality. Business has never been more positive, rapid, nor disruptive. Conglomerates are edging each other out of the way to pour their dollars into what is promising to be a goldmine for investors. What is clear to see is that China is taking that lead. This week saw the Asian nation bet on Nigeria’s ICT sector with a substantial loan, guarantee the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation’s (NNPC) railroad project funding, while signing deals with same Corporation on biofuel production. The NNPC on its own operations revealed plans to take a foothold in Nigerian shipping business by setting up a bunkering company.
Germany is also rolling the dice of the Nigerian market, with Auto manufacturer, Volkswagen, signing deals to expand in the country.
Internal collaborations are also taking place; The Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment and the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria reached a mutually beneficial agreement in London a few days ago. Honeywell Group has also branched into investment in early stage tech-enabled businesses, via is offshoot, Itanna.
Expectedly, expansion was seen in the ICT sector, with MainOne spreading its operations into the Ivorian market with a $20m investment and teaming up with Minkels to extend the largest Tier III+ Data centre in West Africa.
And the ICT ball keeps rolling. Telecoms provider Internet Solutions came out this week with an upgraded network in the country, startup Tizeti secured a $3m funding, United Bank for Africa launched its chat banker, Leo, on Whatsapp, while in the same period naming four new members to its Board.
Dangote, already prejudged the most admired brand of African origin, has emerged now the most valuable brand in Nigeria.
The pieces come together to paint a good picture – Nigeria is undoubtedly an economically viable market.