Investors reject $196bn planned investments in Nigeria


The Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission on Tuesday revealed that within a four-year period spanning January 2017 to December 2020, foreign and local investors pledged to invest a total of $203.9bn into the Nigerian economy.

However, out of this amount, only $7.8bn or 3.8 per cent of total commitment was fulfilled.

This implies that difference between investment commitment and actual investments inflow stood at $196bn within the period under review.

Investment analysts who spoke with The PUNCH in separate interviews listed rising insecurity, exchange rate fluctuations as some of the key factors discouraging investors from turning investment commitments to actual investments in Nigeria.

But the Director, Strategic Services, Mr Abubakar Yerima, who spoke in Abuja during a press briefing, rolled out figures on the investment performance of the country over the past four years.

He said in 2017 investors pledged the sum of N66.35bn but only $2.41bn was actualised.

In 2018, he put the total investment commitments at $90.89bn while actual inflow was only $78m, indicating a shortfall of $90.11bn.

Nigeria also suffered an investment funding gap of $26.60bn in 2019 where actual investments stood at $2.31bn out of the total pledge of $29.91bn made by investors.

In 2020, Yerima noted that while investors pledged to invest $16.74bn into the economy, only $2.39bn actual investments were recorded at the end of that year.

This resulted in an investment funding gap of $14.35bn.

Yerima appealed to all stakeholders to support the NIPC in bridging the gap, noting that the commission could achieve this feat alone.

An analysis of investment announcements reports from the NIPC showed that the $203.89bn commitments comprised $150.9bn from foreign investors and $52.9bn from domestic investors.

Experts who spoke on the development noted that Nigerian business landscape was fraught with various challenges that hampered investment inflows into the country.

An investment research analyst at Meristem Securities Limited, Damilare Ojo, explained risk factors such as rising insecurity in the country, fluctuating exchange rate and unstable policies could be attributed to the disparity between commitments and actual investments.

“There are risk factors in the country. At the point of making these pledges, the investor may not have considered all the risk factors involved with those investments. But at the point of commencing the project, some factors might emerge and if they are unfavourable they simply opt out.

“Insecurity is a very valid risk factor in the country. Besides this factor is the issue of the forex rate, government and monetary policies which negatively affect the ease of doing business in the country. These factors deter investors,” he said.

He also noted that during the period under review, the country’s economy went into recession at different periods, which created a weak outlook that was unattractive to investors.

The immediate past Director-General of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Muda Yusuf, said investors were unwilling to commit huge amount into the country’s long-term infrastructure projects due to the lingering social unrest and insecurity.

He added the unrest was already making it difficult for foreign investors to see the country as a safe investment destination for capital infrastructure.

Meanwhile, in a bid to improve investors’ access to the services provided by the NIPC, the agency launched a digital platform for its One-Stop Investment Centre.

The platform, called e-OSIC, is expected to enhance the effectiveness of the centre by streamlining investment entry processing.

The Acting Executive Secretary of the NIPC, Emeka Offor, disclosed this during the launch held in Abuja.

The OSIC was established in 2006 with 13 participating agencies, cutting across federal, states and non-governmental organisations.

He said, “It is my honour and privilege to report that e-OSIC has been completed and is now live. With e-OSIC, investors can now have access to all services offered at the OSIC remotely, and apply for business registration, submit relevant documents, and make appropriate fee payments. Through the platform, the NIPC will be able to track and review the services of participating agencies at the centre.”

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Publish date : 2021-11-02 23:07:24

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