In line with the Terms of Reference (“ToR”) of the Debt Capital Markets Development (“DCMD”) Project Infrastructure Finance Sub-Committee to facilitate the uptake of capital markets products as a means of financing infrastructure, the Sub-Committee executed a webinar targeted at firms in the infrastructure sector including construction, mines & steel oil, & gas, health, transportation, education, information technology, etc.
The session themed – Leveraging the Debt Capital Markets for Infrastructure Development, held on Thursday, August 6, 2020, was geared towards critically discussing how domestic and foreign debt securities and innovative financing can be employed to encourage private investments in infrastructure in Nigeria. It also created a platform for expert discussions on infrastructure development in Nigeria via the Nigerian debt capital markets to culminate in the issuance of a variety of short- and long-term debt securities. The webinar was gracefully conducted by Mrs. Adaze Uzor-Kalu, Head, External Relations, FMDQ Group. Mrs. Uzor-Kalu appreciated participants for joining the session and introduced the speakers. She also apprised participants on the modalities of the session to ensure the successful execution of the webinar.
In his opening remarks, Mr. Bola Onadele. Koko, the Chief Executive Officer, FMDQ Group welcomed participants at the session and gave a brief overview of the DCMD Project and its strategic objectives to improve operational efficiencies and time to market for debt securities, promote market depth, promote an enabling environment to allow the capital markets reach its potential and the diversification of products and investors. Mr. Onadele. Koko, stressing that infrastructure development is a key driver for progress across the continent and critical enabler for productivity and Sustainable sustainable economic growth emphasised the need to recognise that alternative sources of financing are required to support infrastructure development asides public sector financing. Also, Mr. Onadele. Koko disclosed that in recognition of the increasing role of private capital in the Nigerian capital market, the FMDQ Private Markets Limited Limited was incorporated to enable private companies irrespective of size access the markets for funding and raise vital capital to expand operations and function as efficiently as possible within their various sectors.
A presentation on Leveraging the Debt Capital Markets for Infrastructure Development was made by Mr. Bolaji Balogun, the Chief Executive Officer, Chapel Hill Denham, Chief Investment Officer, Nigeria Infrastructure Debt Fund (“NIDF”) & Chair, Steering Committee, FMDQ DCMD Project, and Mr. Phil Southwell, Partner, Chapel Hill Denham & Chairman, Investment Committee, NIDF. The presentation covered Chapel Hill Denham’s infrastructure strategy, the perspective of the capital expenditure of the Federal Government of Nigeria, the long-term market potential of Africa as well as the Investment Portfolio and return performance of NIDF. Mr. Balogun stressed the need for high connectivity between key issues that need to be addressed in Nigeria and the development of infrastructure that will transform the country’s economy.
The panel session, moderated by Dr. Z. Wura Abiola, Managing Director, Management Transformation Limited & Co-Chair, FMDQ DCMD Project Infrastructure Finance Sub-Committee covered topics including government incentives and regulatory reforms to unlock infrastructure development, the scope of de-risking tools in making infrastructure projects more attractive to local and foreign investors, ecosystem requirements for attracting finance for infrastructure development, encouraging capital towards environmentally friendly infrastructure, driving investment of pension funds to infrastructure securities, as well as success stories of infrastructure financing in Nigeria and overcoming hinderances in ease of doing business in Nigeria challenges.
The panelists were as outlined below:
- Prof. Gbolahan Elias, SAN – Principal Partner, G. Elias & Co.
- Mr. Wale Shonibare – Director, Energy Financial Solutions, Policy & Regulation, African Development Bank Group
- Mr. Daniel Mueller – Head, Origination & Structuring, Infrastructure Credit Guarantee Company Limited
- Engr. Chidi K.C. Izuwah Snr. – Director General, Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission
- Dr. Farouk Aminu – Head, Investment Supervision Department, National Pension Commission
- Mr. Haresh Aswani – Managing Director, Africa, Tolaram Group
- Mr. Taiwo Adeniji – Senior Director, Investments, Africa Finance Corporation
Bringing the session to an end, Ms. Kaodi Ugoji, the Group Chief Operating Officer, FMDQ Group, appreciated the speakers at the session for honouring the invitation to participate at the webinar and the attendees at the session. Ms. Ugoji also appreciated the FMDQ DCMD Project Office for facilitating the executed the event, reiterating that FMDQ Group, given its role as the DCMD Project Office will ensure that key resolutions from the session are implemented in collaboration with key stakeholders. The session was attended by over three hundred (300) participants and streamed live on the FMDQ Group YouTube Channel.