The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, C&I Leasing Plc (C&I Leasing), Andrew Otike-Odibi, says stakeholders in the leasing industry should deepen collaboration and take full advantage of the industry’s investment potentials to ensure sustainable socio-economic development in Nigeria.
Mr. Otike-Odibi made the call during the 18th National Lease Conference organized by the Equipment Leasing Association of Nigeria (ELAN) which held virtually on Thursday, 19th November 2020.
According to him, if the opportunities in the leasing industry are fully harnessed, backed by partnership between “big ticket” operators and smaller businesses, economic growth in Nigeria will become feasible even in the near term, despite the challenges brought about by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
“The economy has opened so much that you cannot find businesses going after transactions individually. Leasing companies have come of age where we can come together and collaborate to do more kinds of transactions, both big ticket companies as well as small and medium enterprises while bringing our unique skills and strengths into those transactions. We need to come together and collaborate, either for transactions or collaborate for long term businesses,” he said.
“I will like to see the leasing industry collaborate more among ourselves to grow the economy, because there is so much more that can be done within a short period of time if we all come together and have a common interest. We will see the impact, COVID or no COVID. The sector is one that has not been scratched at all and if we come together and invest in that sector, the impact will not only be financial, but also social because then we will create employment and empower Nigerians and impact on the country will be positive.”
Also speaking on strategies leasing companies should adopt to remain competitive in the era of COVID-19, the C&I Leasing MD said asset utilization must be optimized, focus should be skewed towards improved efficiency and innovative business solutions should be projected to clients.
“There are a lot of things that have come up now, with the COVID-19 challenge that we woke up to. Our traditional way of running businesses, of being very asset heavy, must change as asset dependent businesses are tooled down when there is a downturn in the economy,” he said.
“An evolution of the industry shows that from operating leases, we are now moving into a service-based model. So, it goes without saying that there is a need to optimize asset utilization, improve efficiency and take advantage of technological explosion. Now, practitioners must go back to the drawing board and rethink the leasing concept with the current realities and then come up with value added solutions for their clients.”