United Kingdom plans $1.2 billion investment in Nigeria

29 Nov 2018
Financial Nigeria


The United Kingdom has been strengthening its economic ties with Africa ahead of its exit from the European Union in March 2019.

British Prime Minister Theresa May

As part of Britain’s post-Brexit plans, its development finance institution, CDC Group Plc, will invest up to $4.5 billion in Africa over the next four years. About $1.2 billion of that amount is expected to be invested in Nigeria, according to Nicholas O’Donohoe, CEO of CDC, who spoke with Bloomberg on Wednesday.  

The United Kingdom has been stregthening its economic ties with Africa ahead of its exit from the European Union in March 2019.

“A reasonable figure would be for Nigeria, about $1.2 billion, given the size of the economy,” O’Donohoe told Bloomberg.

British Prime Minister, Theresa May, had visited Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa earlier this year, saying she wanted the country to become the G7’s biggest investor on the continent by 2022.

With investment ranging from listed Nigerian banks to an Ethiopian wine-maker and a safari lodge in Zimbabwe, the $.4.5 billion would almost double CDC’s existing African investment portfolio of $2.6 billion.

According to O’Donohoe, CDC will also open offices in Lagos and Nairobi, in addition to the one it has in Johannesburg. The Nigeria office will open early next year with 10 people.

He added that the company will probably invest more in the banking sector in Nigeria. For over 70 years, CDC has been active in Nigeria and has made about $400 million investment. Among the banks the group currently has investments in are Zenith Bank and Guaranty Trust Bank. In 2016, along with other global investors, the UK DFI invested in the 450-megawatt Azura-Edo Independent Power Project in Edo State.

The Head of CDC in Africa, Tenbite Ermias, said the company will also be investing more in Kenya and other East African countries. “Ethiopia could be a big opportunity,” he said. “But, it depends on how the economy and politics progress.”

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