Nigerian business leaders acknowledge impact of open financial markets 

 Nigerian business leaders have acknowledged the impact of financial open markets as highlighted in Standard Chartered Bank’s Resetting Globalisation: Catalysts for Change report. 

The report captures the various perspectives of business leaders in Nigeria and in other markets on the concept of reconstructing the current model of globalisation and decentralised finance.

According to the report, 81 per cent of Nigerian business leaders lauded the positive impact of open financial markets.

The research also shows that Nigerian business leaders are confident in the potential of decentralized finance (DeFi) in nurturing an equitable financial system – showing encouraging sentiments on innovative financial mechanisms. The increased connectedness of the world has led to the interdependence of financial markets, a development that has proven highly beneficial primarily to the developed world while developing markets continue to be left behind. Globalisation enables small and medium businesses to access patronage from international markets. 

Indeed, businesses no longer need to be necessarily multinational to serve international markets as individuals can work in one country while living in another. However, this development has led to a crisis, with one country/market negatively affecting others in a non-linear manner. An example is the COVID-19 virus and the subsequent oil price crash leading to reduced government revenue in the Nigerian market. On account of such situations, there is heightened demand to rethink current global structures in a manner that is equitable to all.

Notably, only 55% of business leaders in Nigeria believe that foreign investment has been instrumental to the growth and development of the Nigerian economy.

Additionally, Nigeria’s capital market depth exhibited significant growth, surging from approximately 6.8 per cent in 2000 to 17.1 per cent by 2018.

The removal of a mandatory one-year holding period for foreign portfolio investors in 2012 spurred a remarkable surge in foreign investment in the equity market. Developing countries such as Nigeria often bear the brunt of climate change due to actions like environmental dumping – a side effect of globalisation. As such, Nigerian business leaders are sensitive to sustainability practices, with 64 per cent believing that a global approach is required to solve climate change.

The report further highlights the perspectives of business leaders in South Africa and Nigeria, where nearly 60 per cent agree on the benefits of leveraging global talent pools for local development. Nigeria has emerged as a bubbling outsourcing hub, partly fueled by the expansion of English-speaking graduate talent pools, and set to be further developed by the National Talent Export Programme (NATEP). An intriguing finding regarding the inclination of business leaders in emerging markets towards responsible investments has emerged. Notably, 46 per cent in Nigeria, 45 per cent in Kenya, and 44 per cent in China prioritise responsible investments over higher returns, signifying a shifting paradigm towards socially-conscious business practices.