By Merit Ibe
The Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) has disclosed that its Q1 2021 investment announcements which tracked $8.4billion, had the manufacturing sector as the largest, accounting for about 35 per cent of the total announcements.
The commission also revealed that Nigerian investors represented the largest body in the quarter with Morroco coming second.
Executive Secretary of the commission, Yewande Sadiku, who made the disclosure noted that, in the same period last year, the commission tracked $4.81billion in investment announcements, which shows a material increase over what was tracked last year.
She said this signified an increased look by investors and the prospects of investing in Nigeria.
“Last year, we had a total of $6.47billion of investment announcements. So this material increase of 75 percent of investment in the Q1 is material.”
Despite being faced by the COVID-19 pandemic, the effects and the gradual reopening of the economy, Sadiku said the country has a long way to go, noting that investment inflows globally have been falling since 2015, with the biggest deep seen in 2020.
On account of COVID-19, some recovery is expected in 2021 but it will be marginal, she noted.
“The pandemic was a universal problem and presents some opportunities.
“It caused material disruption in value chain. It demonstrated the danger in concentrating manufacturing capacity in one country or region.
“But the pandemic has a materially share drop on investment flows globally. So from 2019 to 2021 investment contracted by about 50 per cent, with the bulk of that coming from Europe.
She explained that the investment levels seen in all aspects of the economy were not sufficient for the country’s economic development.
“But when we look at investment announcements, which are just an indicator and we compare them to the actual inflows for the year, they range from between 5 and 11 per cent , that is the announcement relative to the actual inflows.”
To reverse the global trend that existed since 2015, she opined that the country needed a more collaborative, cohesive, more coherent efforts at attracting investment into Nigeria, “we need to ensure that every one across governments is working for the same purpose and the objectives and policies have coherence that run through them.
“Ultimately, investment promotion and attraction are like layering, it does not come over night. Every one in government needs to be layering, facing the right direction and working towards the same objective.
On the book of states that was recently unveiled by the commission to redefine the volume of what we expect to see in terms of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) for economic growth, in terms of the content of the book and what it means for Nigeria, Sadiku said, to attract investment across the country, Nigerians are expected to be aggressively selling all the states for the prospects they represent.