FBN Merchant Bank partners Oxford Business Group to analyse role of Banks in galvanizing economic growth.

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R –L: Kayode Akinkugbe, MD/CEO FBN Merchant Bank; and Diane Rus, Country Director Oxford Business Group, Nigeria signing the 2017 partnership agreement at the FBN Merchant Bank office recently.

FBN Merchant Bank will team up with the global research and consultancy firm, Oxford Business Group (OBG) to produce the financial chapter of The Report: Nigeria 2017, highlighting the pivotal part Nigeria’s banks are playing in the country’s broader diversification efforts by boosting lending to the private sector. The Report will chart the strong performance that the nation’s financial sector continues to deliver at home, despite the challenging economic climate, while also considering its role as a regional gateway. In addition, OBG’s publication will analyse the impact that a tight monetary policy, implemented against a backdrop of lower hydrocarbons revenues and currency volatility, has had on Nigeria’s lenders.

This partnership comes under the three-year memorandum of understanding (MoU) between FBN Merchant Bank and Oxford Business Group, which is now in its second year. The Report will be a vital guide to the many facets of the country, including its macroeconomics, infrastructure, banking and other sectoral developments.

Lolade Sasore, Head of Marketing and Corporate Communications at FBN Merchant Bank, said she expects the bank’s partnership with OBG to explore the effect that the current economy and tight fiscal policy has had on both Nigeria’s lenders and borrowers. “We are quite pleased to be working with OBG once again, and we believe the contributions from our experts and Research team will enrich the publication. This year, our coverage will include sector analyses, and will examine the steps that financial institutions have taken to accommodate a difficult year while considering what the coming months are expected to bring”, she said.

Diana Rus, OBG’s country director, agreed that Nigeria’s dependence on the energy sector, alongside the decision to devalue the naira, had made 2016 a tumultuous year, but said new opportunities in emerging areas of the economy, such as insurance, ICT, agriculture and industry, offered plenty of scope for growth.

“The signs are that Nigeria’s economy is improving, albeit slowly, through a combination of loans and rising global oil prices,” she said. “The financial sector will remain central to national efforts to broaden the country’s economic base and reduce its reliance on hydrocarbons for revenues. I’m delighted that we have FBN Merchant Bank on board to support our analysis at such a critical point in this important market’s economic development.”

The publication will also contain contributions from leading representatives, including His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari, President of Nigeria, Hon. Dr Emmanuel Kachikwu, Minister of Oil, Hon. Dr Audu Ogbeh, Minister of Agrictulure, Hon. Babatunde Fashola, Minister of Power, HE Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of IMF and Kayode Akinkugbe, MD/CEO FBN Merchant Bank among others.

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Godwin Okafor is a Financial Journalist, Internet Social Entrepreneur and Founder of Naija247news Media Limited. He has over 16 years experience in financial journalism. His experience cuts across traditional and digital media. He started his journalism career at Business Day, Nigeria and founded Naija247news Media in 2010. Godwin holds a Bachelors degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos. He is an alumni of Lagos Business School and a Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton Seminar for Business Journalists). Over the years, he has won a number of journalism awards. Godwin is the chairman of Emmerich Resources Limited, the publisher of Naija247news.

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