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Unstable global market worries Nigerian businesses

By Victor Uzoho

As organisations and groups continue to assess the economic outlook for the year, experts have expressed concerns about the implications of an unstable global market on Nigerian businesses.

The experts spoke at a virtual roundtable on Thursday, during the “Nigeria’s Economic Outlook 2022,” organised by the First Bank of Nigeria (FBN).

Specifically, the President/Council Chairman, the Nigerian British Chamber Of Commerce (NBCC), Bisi Adeyemi, highlighted the challenges posed by the unstable global market, and the implications for Nigerian businesses.

He therefore urged businesses to be prepared, saying: “A major objective for hosting the 2022 Nigeria Economic Outlook is to undertake a comprehensive assessment of the opportunities, challenges and indeed the threats that businesses should expect to contend with this year.

“I am sure that like me, many of you would like to have a crystal ball to give you a sneak peek into what the year holds, and I certainly would like to know how the permutations of a pre-election year will impact the economic indices.”

To this end, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), FBN, Adesola Adeduntan, said the event, themed: “A Rear-view Look at 2021, Lessons Learnt – Outlook 2022,” was aimed at providing an opportunity for participants to learn directly from economic experts.

This will also help businesses to stay informed and knowledgeably empowered to make the right decisions in their socio-economic activities in 2022.

Also, the British Deputy High Commissioner, Ben Llewellyn-Jones, underscored the strong bilateral ties between Nigeria and the United Kingdom.

He expressed his country’s commitment to strengthening existing trade relations, including its continued support for Nigeria’s economic diversification efforts.

A major objective for hosting the 2022 Nigeria Economic Outlook is to undertake a comprehensive assessment of the opportunities, challenges and indeed the threats that businesses should expect to contend with this year.

Sectoral performances

In his projections for sectoral contributions in the year, the CEO, Financial Derivatives, Bismarck Rewane sees the agriculture sector growing by 1.6% by the end of 2022.

He said: “Agriculture sector is likely to grow by 1.6% in 2022, while an efficient rail system will ease logistics constraints and boost productivity.”

This is just as he expects the Nigerian financial services sector to leverage its progress in 2021, and grow by 8.32% mostly driven by increased collaboration with FinTechs in promoting financial inclusion.

Rewane said the Tier-1 banks would leverage their robust customer base and balance sheet size, adding that there would be aggressive digital innovation and lending solutions as well as possible mergers and acquisitions within and across tiers to boost capital structures.

Furthermore, he noted that declining inflation would be positive for consumer purchasing power, adding that monetary tightening in advanced economies could trigger capital outflow, while the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth would be sublime as oil price remains stable.

He however called on policymakers to find solutions to heightened social unrests spurred by high unemployment and poverty levels, and financial sector crisis, among others.

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