Nigeria’s leading financial institution, Coronation Merchant Bank, recently held the 2nd edition of its Interactive Session Series themed ‘AfCFTA – The Road Ahead’.
The event which held virtually, featured expert speakers such as Francis Anatogu, Executive Secretary, National Action Committee on the African Continental Free Trade Area; Komi Tsowou, Economic Affairs Officer, African Trade Policy Center, Regional Integration and Trade Division, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and Chinwe Egwim, Chief Economist, Coronation Merchant Bank.
Other speakers and panelists at the session included Demola Adekoya, Head, Corporate Banking, Coronation Merchant Bank and Kesiena Esievo, Head, Global Trade, Coronation Merchant Bank.
Speaking on leveraging the opportunities in AfCFTA and plotting a course for Africa’s economic recovery, Francis Anatogu said, “the strategic objective of Nigeria’s participation in the AfCFTA was to capture 10% of Africa’s imports, as well as double the country’s export revenues by 2025. The AfCFTA provides a platform to improve resilience in our economy and make every stat economically viable”.
Speaking on building a trade system that is driven by Africans and delivered to the world, Komi Tsowo noted that, “Almost everything is being exported mainly from the rest of the world which means there is a huge gap that products made in Africa can supply. One thing COVID-19 has shown us is that during crisis, supply disruption makes countries that are heavily dependent on remote markets very vulnerable.
“The AfCFTA is creating an African market for African products which will contribute to the reduction of this export gap and our over reliance on exports of world markets. By 2045, intra-trade can increase as much as 40 per cent with the AfCFTA as a catalyst compared to 20 per cent if the AfCFTA was not in place.”
In his welcome remarks, Banjo Adegbohungbe, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Coronation Merchant Bank, said, “Since the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the international trade landscape has undergone rapid changes. From supply chain disruptions to higher logistics cost to the adoption of digital platforms, the landscape has continued to evolve. More than ever before, oganisations have been faced with multiple challenges while trying to meet their strategic objectives.
He further stated that: Perhaps now more than ever, the expansion of Intra-African trade is a critical enabler for the Nigerian economy. As Africa continues on its journey to economic recovery, it must look inwards and strive to leverage the resources and synergies in growing trade finance not just for the benefit of Africa but for the whole world.
Demola Adekoya, Group Head, Corporate Banking, stated that: “In this new reality that has enveloped the whole world, we have a duty to enlighten our clients on how they can navigate these uncertain times. The Coronation Interactive Session is an ongoing event that provides a platform to create significant value for our customers around major issues that impact their business objectives. We have chosen to focus this webinar around the potentials and opportunities within the AfCFTA so as to explore the opportunities and provide winning insights for corporates on how to strategically position themselves to take advantage of the trade agreement.
About Coronation Merchant Bank
Coronation Merchant Bank was established in 2015 to provide wholesale banking to a long-underserved market. The Bank offers Corporate & Investment Banking, Private Banking/Wealth Management and, Global Markets/Treasury Services to its niche clientele. It presently has two branches located in Abuja and Port Harcourt with its Head Office in Lagos, Nigeria.
The Bank has been the recipient of numerous international and national awards for product innovation and sound corporate governance practices. Some of the international awards it received in 2021, 2020 and 2019 include Best Investment Bank in Nigeria by Global Finance, Best Investment Bank in Nigeria by World Finance, Best Investment Bank in Nigeria by Global Banking & Finance Review, Best Investment Bank by Global Business Outlook and Best Investment Bank in Nigeria by International Finance.
The Bank’s nimble business strategy has enabled it to record considerable success in the few years of its operations. The bank has been rated ‘B-‘ with a Stable Outlook by Fitch, one of the ‘Top 3’ global rating agencies, making it the first and only Nigerian Merchant Bank to receive an international risk rating. It has also attained a strong investment grade rating of “A+” with a stable outlook in 2021 (the highest among Merchant Banks in Nigeria) from Nigeria’s foremost rating Agency – Agusto & Co.