Nigeria receives an average of six billion dollars in Direct Foreign Investments (FDI) inflow annually, Mr Amos Sakaba, a Director in the Nigerian Investment Promotion Council (NIPC), said yesterday.
He spoke in Lagos at a media chat organised by Olisa Agbakoba Legal Services (OALS).
Sakaba said that the statistics on FDI inflow showed that Nigeria still ranked as one of the leading FDI destinations in the world.
He was speaking against the backdrop of the 2015 World Bank Doing Business Report which ranked Nigeria 170th out of 186 countries surveyed on enabling business environment.
The director said that the report could not have been a true reflection of the Nigerian situation, stressing that Nigeria was daily being inundated with enquiries by prospective foreign investors.
Sakaba said that a group of French investors had just visited the country to explore investment opportunities, while there were still others currently in Abuja.
He said that the NIPC had designed many initiatives to lure foreign investors into the country, one of which was the granting of Pioneer Status to some start-up companies.
The NIPC director said that his organisation had granted pioneer status to about 450 companies since NIPC was established 16 years ago.
He described pioneer status as legal concession by government to support the growth of start-up businesses, particularly in the heat of challenges.
Sakaba said that the NIPC had also established a One-Stop-Investment Centre to address challenges of individual prospective investors.
He said that the centre provided a platform for 26 government regulatory agencies to address challenges of individual prospective foreign investors.
The director also said that the NIPC was also assisting states in building capacity to support foreign investors in their states.
Sakaba said that the NIPC laws were enabling enough because they provided for reforms.
He said that there was the need to build a national consensus on the way forward to promote inflow of foreign direct investments into the country in view of the myriad institutional challenges.
In his contribution, Dr Will Mamah of the OALS said that Nigeria had been hit by a ”tsunami’’ of big shocks arising from the decline in crude oil price globally.
He said that the fact that the world had shifted from small hydrocarbon oil to clean shale oil had made Nigeria’s hydrocarbon- based resource unfashionable.
According to him, Nigeria’s potential as an investment hub is very high but remains largely untapped.
– Sunny Obidigbo