Renaissance Capital is beefing up its Nigeria operations through the financing of a multi billion naira real estate development in the Lekki area of Lagos State, to create the first eco-friendly, mixed-use residential and commercial nodal in the country.
Stephen Jennings, Reniassance Group CEO, revealed this to BusinessDay in Moscow during the group’s 16th Annual Investor Conference last week.
“We are investing about $1 billion (N162 billion) in a similar project, the Tatu City in Kenya,” says Jennings, suggesting the Nigeria project will be akin to the Kenya project, which is designed to house 62,000 residents on the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya’s capital city.
The Nigeria project is following similar large scale urban developments in Ghana, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Zambia, by Renaissance, the first and only financial group to specialise in delivering financial, investment and management expertise to the world’s leading emerging and frontier markets.
“This is part of broader strategic value addition into the economy,” says Yvonne Ike, CEO, West Africa, Renaissnace Capital, who was in Moscow for the conference. “It is going to complement what the Lagos State government is already doing by creating employment and re-shifting economic activity, its dynamics, away from the already congested areas, economic activity that will have a life of its own.”
Yvonne, who also re-iterated Renaissance Capital’s focus on working with ‘locals’ to add value to the economy they play in said; “We are not just looking for transactions. We always look for ways to work with the people and add value to the economy.”
The investment underlines Renaissance Capital’s bullish outlook on Nigeria, which it rates as its second pick after Russia, for its supportive institutions for a construction boom, its boom in credit growth and a very strong line-up of reform minded government officials.
There is also the drastic cut in the time required to process construction permit, from 303 days to just 85, quicker than Germany and the doubling of per capita GDP.
The Renaissance Capital conference, billed as the largest independent investor event in Russia and the CIS, was attended by over 1,000 investors and 100 companies. The two- day conference covered a wide range of issues related to the economic potential of the emerging markets.