2024 budget offers opportunities for business people — FirstBank CEO Adeduntan

Dr Adesola Adeduntan CEO First Bank of Nigeria Ltd
Adesola Adeduntan

Managing director and chief executive officer of First Bank of Nigeria Ltd Adesola Adeduntan has said that the 2024 budget offers opportunities for business.

Mr Adeduntan stated this in his welcome address at the Nigeria Economic Outlook for 2024 organised by FBN Holdings and themed, ‘Current Realities and Prospects’.

The banker stated that the New Year provides a reprieve from the many challenges that dogged 2023 and, “offers us both in our private and business capacities opportunities to refresh, rethink and recalibrate our businesses to align with the opportunities available in the current environment.”

He added, “2023 is history but when you move forward now that we are in 2024, what you will realise is if you don’t quickly understand the direction of travel as far as it relates to government policies, priorities, and how we as the private sector can be an integral part of that and use it to aid the further growth of our business, then we have missed an opportunity.

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“For us as Nigerians, I think the year has started on a strong footing with the president, Bola Tinubu, signing the 2024 appropriate bill into law with record proposed spending of N28.7tn which is the highest in the history of the country in nominal terms.”

Adeduntan added that there was significant spending in the budget which should excite serious players in the economy looking to tap into the policy directions of government.

He said, “More exciting is the amount specifically budgeted for capital expenditure. By implication, there will be significant spending that is planned that will create enough stimulus in the economy that allow significant and serious players to tap into the growth and aspirations of the government.

“The budget assumed a growth expectation of 3.76 per cent, even though what is being projected by IMF is slightly lower at 3.0 per cent, which in itself is lower than the sub-Sahara Africa average of 4.2 per cent but given the size of our economy, whether you are looking at 3 per cent or 3.7 per cent, the growth is significant and as serious players, we do have opportunities to tap into this and that is the focus this morning.

“How do we as First Bank, a bank that has aided and supported our customers through different economic cycles over the last 130 years, how do we continue to play that pivotal role to aid your business, to aid understanding of how experts and ourselves believe the economy is going to pan out in the course of 2024, to ensure that you take full benefits of that.”