An aerial view shows the central business district in Nigeria's commercial capital of Lagos.

FirstRand has identified Nigeria as a market offering strong growth opportunities after the JSE-listed banking group was granted an investment banking licence in the west African state.

The licence‚ which required an initial capital investment of $100m‚ marks FirstRand's latest foray into sub-Saharan Africa where the group is pursuing both organic and acquisitive expansion.

In addition to Nigeria‚ FirstRand is finalising the acquisition of Merchant Bank Ghana for almost R750m and is also expanding its retail banking operation in India‚ FirstRand Bank India which was launched in April.

Sizwe Nxasana‚ the group CEO‚ said FirstRand's entry into Nigeria was consistent with its strategy of building a presence in high growth African markets “with attractive long-term prospects”. - I-Net Bridge