By John Ikani
The Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) has disclosed that the nation attracted an upward swing in its investment announcements in 2021, with a record $23. 3 billion.
NIPC Acting Executive Secretary (ES), Mr. Emeka Offor made the disclosure during a media parley in Abuja on Wednesday.
According to him: “The 2021 Investments Announcement Report indicated that US$23.30 billion was tracked during the year, representing about 39% more than the value tracked in 2020 (US$16.74 billion).
“The increase in value is indicative of the growing adaptation to the global ‘new normal’ after the economic disruption occasioned by the restrictions imposed to check the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.
“It also indicates the growing confidence of investors in the efforts to improve the national investment landscape.”
While identifying Lagos State as leading the five top states that attracted the largest value of investments, in the year under review, with $8.7 billion, Offor added that Bayelsa was second, with $3.6 billion, followed by Delta, US$2.9 billion; Akwa Ibom, $2 billion; and Adamawa, $1 billion.
The Ag. ES went on to note that the manufacturing sector had the highest number of projects (20) as well as the highest value of $10.5 billion (45%).
Construction (16%), electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply (13%), information and communication (12%), and mining and quarrying (9%) made up the top 5 sectors for the year.
Speaking further, the ES said the work for NIPC in the next 5 years has been appropriately defined by the National Development Plan 2021 – 2022 (NDP), which has projected a capital requirement of N348.7 trillion with 86% (N298.3 trillion) expected to be provided by the private sector.
As such, he disclosed that the commission has commenced the validation of investments announcements of 2021.
He said, “Mobilisation of the capital has become the focus of the Commission. It is in this respect that the Commission has begun the process of validating the records of the investment announcements. We expect the report from this exercise to give us a further understanding of investors’ readiness to invest in Nigeria.”
The NIPC boss predicted that Africa’s stock, as an investment destination, would be expected to sustain its momentum in 2022.
According to him, “The improving valuation of the continent, its urbanization drift, demographic structure and expected growth in intra-trade activities facilitated by the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) are strong parameters that would continue to attract investors across the world.”
Consequently, he said there would be growing competition for capital as each country continues to build on its competitiveness to attract and retain investments.
Perception of Nigeria’s Investment Environment
On how investors perceive Nigeria’s investment environment, Offor said publications that assessed the readiness of the countries on the continent to attract and retain investments have not been favourable to Nigeria as expected.
According to him, “A few of these publications have been uncomplimentary towards Nigeria despite the giant strides that have been made at addressing many of the challenges associated with doing business in the country.
“It must be noted that over the last 6 years, the government has been implementing reforms on the bureaucratic processes and procedures that bothers on doing business in the country.
“These reforms are being sustained in a dynamic environment. Between 2017 and 2019, the assessment of the country by the World Bank Doing Business Report indicated that there had been significant improvements across the ten indicators which moved the country closer to the frontier countries.”