FG Woos American Investors to Meet $25b FDI Target

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By Modupe Gbadeyanka

In order to achieve $25 billion Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) by 2020, surpassing the Nigeria’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) set target, Federal Government has assured American investors that they would get highest returns on investments if they come to Nigeria.

Minister of Trade, Industry and Investment, Mr Okechukwu Enelamah, and his Foreign Affairs counterpart, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, gave this assurance this week at the Nigeria-US Business and Investment Forum held in New York on the sidelines of the 72nd United Nations General Assembly.

The forum was attended by Minister of Solid Minerals, Mr Kayode Fayemi; Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed; Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), Ms Yewande Sadiku; Managing Director of the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), Mr Anthony Orji; and representatives of the Nigerian private sector and US Business.

According to the Trade Minister, Federal Government is building the Nigeria of the future where things would be done differently from the way they were done in the past.

He said, “Nigeria of the future will be dramatically different from the past and that is what this government is trying to build.

“We are building infrastructure; we are providing the enabling environment and we are improving on the ease of doing business.

“There is a sense of urgency for Nigeria’s industrialisation and we are providing the enabling business and investment environment for investors.”

On his part, the Foreign Affairs Minister said Federal Government would not betray the confidence the US investors already reposed in Nigeria through the forum.

“What we are offering the investors is a much more stable environment, a lot of enabling business environment, one stop shop for registration of names, for getting passport, for coming into the country.

“We are offering them customs clearances, all the elements that go into making much more enabling. A welcoming business environment is what we are offering.

“And of course we are offering them a huge market of almost 193 million people; we are offering them a bigger market with ECOWAS that they can get access to through Nigeria.

“And we are offering them good governance. Those are things they also welcome. We are trying to offer them more security in the country because that’s a point that was also raised,” he said.

Onyeama said the high level representation of the government demonstrated the commitment of the Federal Government to making the partnership really work.

“We believe that Nigeria and Africa in general, you get probably the best returns on investment more than anywhere in the world.

“We are doing everything possible to rebrand our country so that you can know that you are dealing with a reliable partner.

“We want to turn all our embassies around the world including here in the U.S. as hubs for businesses and to provide you all the information you need on Nigeria to invest in Nigeria. And to meet with business partners on the one-stop shop right here without leaving the United States,” Mr Onyeama said.

Also speaking at the event, Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), Ms Yewande Sadiku, noted that $25 billion in Foreign Direct Investment is the target of the country in 2020.

She pointed out that the Federal Government was aware of the bottlenecks in the ways of investors and businesses, but assured that the problems were being addressed.

Managing Director of the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), Mr Anthony Orji, said the agency had in the last one year successfully executed one of such partnerships in agriculture.

“We put $25 million in a fund alongside an agriculture fund in South Africa which also put $25 million and we are raising $150 million.

“This is to be invested in primary production from crop farming to dairy farming and the first investment we have actually closed is a maize and soy farm integrated feed mill in Nasarawa state for expansion.

“Some of the people in this room are looking at opportunity in power, real estate, agriculture, healthcare and our role was to say NSIA is your partner of choice,” Mr Orji said.

Additional information from the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)

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