Stanbic IBTC Holdings, a member of Standard Bank Group, has said macroeconomic stability in Nigeria has improved and business confidence recorded growth.
It also said regional and multilateral agreements were reducing trade barriers in Africa.
It disclosed this in its latest findings from the ‘Africa Trade Barometer’ report 2022’ which was released, and it assessed key economic indicators in Africa, highlighted several developments across 10 African countries.
“According to the report, the macroeconomic stability in Nigeria has improved significantly, and business confidence has been boosted, with several small businesses growing through prudent fiscal and monetary policies,” it stated.
It also said Nigeria’s economic growth had largely recovered after the 2020 recession (primarily brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic).
The average projected economic growth was pegged at 3.2 per cent in 2022-2024.
According to the report, Nigeria was placed eighth out of the 10 countries on the Africa Trade Barometer, after dropping one position (sixth to seventh place) on the ‘Qualitative Trade Barometer’, rankings and gaining two places (10th to eighth position) on ‘Survey Trade Barometer’, which was driven mainly by directional improvements in the trader’s financial behaviour.
Speaking on the report, the Head, Business and Commercial Clients, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Remy Osuagwu, noted that the report’s findings showed the hard work and commitment of businesses and people in creating a conducive environment for economic development.
Osuagwu said, “The report also identified an increased trade openness across the continent. Various regional and multilateral agreements have facilitated this positive trend, reducing trade barriers and improving market access.
“Nigerian firms have become more optimistic about prospects for importing and exporting, a significant increase in importing and a directional increase in exporting.”
The report provided insights into traders’ financial behaviour and access to finance. It highlighted the need for financial institutions to provide affordable, accessible, and appropriate financial services to traders, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, to support their growth and expansion.
Osuagwu added that, “At Stanbic IBTC, we are at the forefront of this action as we have implemented solutions to help businesses thrive.”