Total value of capital imported into Nigeria rose 37.5 per cent to $16.8 billion in 2018, according to financial data made available by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Wednesday, with much of that being spent on equities in the nation’s local bourse.
This comes as President Muhammadu Buhari and Atiku Abubakar are set to lock horns in a presidential election on Saturday, where the performance of the economy has been a major campaign issue. In 2018, Nigeria’s economy grew at its fastest pace since a recession two years earlier.
But the National Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday said $10.43 billion of the headline amount went into equities and equity-related investment, with Britain topping the list of countries from which the funds came.
Analysts say foreign funds have tentatively started to pick up shares on the Lagos bourse to position for a rally once the election is over.
The presidential contest is expected to be tight between President Muhammadu Buhari and Atiku Abubakar, a former vice president. More than 60 other candidates are running, although with very slim chances of winning on Saturday. Buhari has been campaigning largely on his anticorrutption mantra, as opposed to his challenger who is harping on rejuvenating the economy a key issue, hoping his record can secure him a second four-year term.