Nigerian Investment Promotion Council says Nigeria is attracting an average of $2bn of Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) annually which is significantly lower than the $10bn estimates needed to achieve the desired economic growth. Emeka Offor, acting Executive Secretary, NIPC who disclosed this in Abuja during a stakeholder engagement with states, noted that there are still gaps between announcements and actual investments.
According to him, some of the challenges impeding FDI include insecurity, unfavourable business environment, access to finance or capital, and lack of infrastructure. The Executive Secretary, therefore, called for a more proactive approach across federal and state governments to convert tracked investment announcements to actual investments. He specifically stressed the need to deepen synergy with state Investment Promotion Agencies (IPAs).
“We want to work with stakeholders at the state and regional level to build synergy. This is important because some opportunities are region-specific while others are tied to states, so when we build this synergy we believe that we better empower the states to attract investments. This synergy will also ease the bottlenecks and challenges in these regions that are hampering investment growth,” he said.
The NIPC CEO further disclosed that the commission’s Investment Certification Programme for states (NICPS) would improve the capacity of states to document, promote and facilitate private investments. He explained that state certification is achieved following training and assessment on three standards, including the state’s ability to provide complete, accurate, and relevant information to investors in a timely manner; ability to offer sites and buildings that met targeted investors’ needs in an efficient manner.
Similarly, the state’s ability to promote, in a focused manner, and to offer professional levels of service to potential and existing investors. In her remark, Olufore Abimbola, Head, UNIDO, said the UN agency focused on investments and technological innovations in achieving industrialisation, and through the perspective of NIPC, it sought to attract investments differently.
Abimbola advised that successful women and youth in the states could be used to boost states’ Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) and build the economy. Also speaking, Markus Wauschkuhn, Head SEDIN-GIZ, who called for policy dialogue to strengthen investment facilitation in Nigeria, added that for investments to thrive, the private sector and the states needed to work together.
Furera Jumare, director-general of, Jigawa state Investment Promotion Agency (InvestJigawa) noted that basically, the IPAs faced challenges caused by the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. She said that because of the pandemic and the ensuing recession globally, which made the FDIs dwindle, all states needed to work assiduously to attract FDIs.