Nigeria Suffers 43% Drop in Foreign Investment Inflows

June 14, 2019
foreign direct investment

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

The value of foreign direct investment in Nigeria declined by 43 percent to $2 billion in 2018, a report by the United Nations has revealed.

The report attributed the decrease in FDI to Nigeria to a dispute between the government and South African telecom giant MTN over repatriated profits.

According to the UN, this issue made foreign investors have second thoughts about putting their hard-earned money in the country, which is Africa’s top oil producer.

The bank also said investors may have decided to look elsewhere for investment in Africa as a result of global financial giants, HSBC and UBS, to close their representative offices in 2018.

Last year, the UN said foreign investment in sub-Saharan Africa rose by 13 percent to $32 billion, bucking a global downward trend and reversing two years of decline.

One of Nigeria’s neighbours, Ghana, which is in the midst of an oil and gas boom, recorded inflows of $3 billion, becoming West Africa’s leading destination for foreign investment. Italy’s Eni Group was behind Ghana’s largest greenfield investment project.

The Southern Africa region performed the best, taking in FDI of nearly $4.2 billion, up from $925 million in 2017, with foreign investment in South Africa more than doubled to $5.3 billion.

Ethiopia remained East Africa’s top recipient of FDI at $3.3 billion, despite an 18 percent drop compared with the year before.

Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania all saw increases in FDI inflows. Foreign investment in Uganda jumped 67 per cent to a record $1.3bn, boosted by the oil and gas development of a consortium that includes France’s Total, CNOOC of China and London-listed Tullow Oil.

In the report titled World Investment Reports and obtained by Business Post, Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr António Guterres, who signed preface, said, “Last year, global flows of foreign direct investment fell by 13 percent to $1.3 trillion.

“This represents the lowest level since the global financial crisis and underlines the lack of growth in international investment this decade.

“The significant acceleration required to meet the investment needs associated with the Sustainable Development Goals is not yet apparent.

“We need to raise ambition on climate action, address debt vulnerabilities and reduce trade tensions to foster environments that are conducive to scaling up long-term and sustainable investments.”

Modupe Gbadeyanka

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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