The Ernst & Young, an international professional service firm, has stressed the need for Nigeria and other African countries to initiate policies that will lead to the removal of barriers to trade in the continent.
The Regional Managing Partner, Ernst & Young, Mr. Henry Egbiki, who said this, also pointed out that foreign investors now see the continent as a land of opportunities.
Egbiki, said this at a forum tagged: “Financial Services Strategic Forum: Fresh Perspectives on Growing Financial Services in West Africa,” organised by Ernst & Young in Lagos at the weekend.
“There is high wall in terms of entry barriers and markets are fragmented because of population and people wants to invest where there is larger population, “Egbiki said.
He noted that some countries, especially in Europe and America, were still struggling to come out of the global financial crisis, saying that this development had brought about a lot of uncertainties.
“Their markets are struggling and causing a lot of uncertainties and people are worried because they don’t know how it is going to come out but Africa continues to present most opportunities, “he said.
He also pointed out that a current report by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) stated that 11 out of the 20 economies of the world between now and 2017 would come from Africa, due to the huge growth of opportunities in Africa.
But Egbiki further noted that despite all these, the challenges faced by Africa remained the weak state of infrastructure, poor level of economic integration, which he argued had led to high wall in terms of market entry in the continent.
Furthermore, he stressed that financial service firms have a role to play in the development of the continent.
“We saw how the financial crisis played out since 2009 and the impact it had in various economy including Nigeria. It is our responsibility in Ernst & Young to engage all stakeholders to be able to make contribution to strengthen the financial sector, “he said.
On his part, the Deputy Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Kingsley Chiedu Moghalu, commended Ernst & Young’s contribution towards the development of the financial sector.
Moghalu, who was represented by the Director, Banking Supervisor Services, Mrs. Tokunbo Martins, assured that the CBN would continue to bring to the barest minimum the challenges facing the financial sector in the country.
Author: Chinazor Megbolu
Source: ThisDay LIVE