AFRICANGLOBE – As a response to continuous criticism from the populace over the deplorable state of infrastructure in Africa’s largest economy, the Nigerian Federal Government has revealed plans to commence the implementation of a strategic investment master plan that will, in three decades, bridge the country’s infrastructural funding gap, currently estimated at about $2.4 trillion.
The new plan is structured such that the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) will collaborate with relevant agencies and stakeholders to foster a new operating environment of investment-friendly policies such that new investors are attracted to the burgeoning economy. The Commission is already streamlining investment procedures with a view to eliminating unnecessary bottlenecks in business legalization procedures and related processes.
This development was revealed by Mrs. Saratu Umar, NIPC’s Chief Executive Officer, during a media roundtable organized by the agency as part of its ongoing stakeholders’ sensitization programme. She emphasized that infrastructure funding has been flagged as a priority under the master plan and the commission had already commenced a series of collaborations with stakeholders all in a bid to bridge the funding gap.
“Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is widely acknowledged worldwide as the most useful and cheapest source of development finance because it creates employment, engenders transfer of technology, conserves foreign reserves, and ensures availability of quality goods and services, among others. For this reason, the competition for FDI has been very stiff, particularly in recent years, due to globalization brought about by technology,” she said.
“In this regard, we are reviewing our strategy with respect to Partnerships, Image, Investment Targeting, Client Servicing etc, in a coordinated fashion that facilitates steady and sustainable growth of FDI in Nigeria. We have also set up an Investment Coordination Framework to improve the business climate, improve the ease of doing business and ensure policy consistency. This will help to enhance investors’ confidence in the Nigerian economy,” she added.
Nigerian investor and philanthropist, Mr Tony Elumelu, was also present at the event; as part of his comments, he advocated that Nigerians should support the ongoing efforts of the NIPC towards making the country’s hugely untapped investment opportunities attractive to both local and global investors.
“I am here at this meeting as a representative of the investors’ community in Nigeria. Our country needs both local and foreign investments to achieve inclusive and sustainable economic growth and development. The new CEO of NIPC, Mrs. Saratu Umar, is currently doing a good job by repositioning the agency to become a globally competitive investment promotion agency. We need to give her our total support and encouragement,” he said.
By: Emmanuel Iruobe