By Sunday Oyinloye
Mobilisation of the capital requirement of N348.7 trillion as projected in the National Development Plan 2021 – 2025 (NDP) is the focus of the Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), the Acting Executive Secretary/ CEO, Emeka Offor has revealed.
He said it is against this background that NIPC has begun the process of validating the records of the investment announcements.
Addressing Journalists at the first quarter proactive media engagement in Abuja yesterday, Emeka Offor disclosed that out of the projected N348.7 trillion, 86% N298.3 trillion is expected to be provided by the private sector.
According to him, “we expect the report from this exercise to give us a further understanding of investors’ readiness to invest in Nigeria”.
The Acting Executive Secretary disclosed further” the competition for capital has become more intense, amidst a drop in global volume. The work for NIPC in the next 5 years has been appropriately defined by the National Development Plan 2021 – 2025 (NDP)”
He said the 2021 Investments Announcement Report indicated that US$23.30 billion was tracked during the year, representing about 39% more than the value tracked in 2020 (US$16.74 billion).
The increase in value Offor noted is indicative of the growing adaptation to the global ‘new normal’ after the economic disruption occasioned by the restrictions imposed to check the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.
His words : “The top five States, by value of investments, are Lagos State (US$8.7 billion), Bayelsa State (US$3.6 billion), Delta State (US$2.9 billion), Akwa Ibom State (US$2 billion), and Adamawa State (US$1 billion).
“The manufacturing sector had the highest number of projects (20) as well as the highest value, US$10.5 billion (45%). Construction (16%), electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply (13%), information and communication (12%), and mining and quarrying (9%) made up the top 5 sectors for the year.”
He revealed further that the commission has begun the process of developing a strategic plan with a focus on the NDP sectors adding that critical to this strategy is the profiling of the opportunities in each state as well as sustaining the engagements with the sub-national governments.
The Acting Executive Secretary assures: “We would continue to build on past successes while we chart new paths for sustainable development of the capacity of staff of the State Investment Promotion Agencies while also stimulating healthy competition for investments across the regions and the States.
“We would leverage on our relationships with the Executive of the States to ensure sustained appreciation of the issues of the business environment with the understanding that the aggregation of the sub-national perception forms the national image, and also expand the coverage of Nigerian Investment Certification Programme for States (NICPS)”.
While stressing the need for all hands to be on deck to ensure that Nigeria attracts the quantum of investment required to stimulate sustainable socio-economic development, he said it is very important that every Nigerian, based at home or in the diaspora develop a conscious sense of patriotism “by being cautious of our statements”
Offor advised Nigerians to begin to highlight the positives in the country more while pointing out the negatives for correction.
In his presentation at the parley, the Director, Investment Promotion Adeshina Emmanuel took Journalists through the roles of his Department, which he said is saddled with the responsibility of direct marketing and securing investors for specific investment opportunities in selected, prioritized sectors in Nigeria to target potential investors.
He disclosed that Direct Investors’ Summit which began in 2018 could not hold in 2020 because of COVID-19 Pandemic .Emmanuel however assures that the Summit will hold this year with the theme: “Unlocking investment opportunities in the tech-enabled ecosystem “
On her part the Director Investor Relations, Hajia Wakil represented by Benjamin Ikheloah spoke on strategic activities of the Department for 2022 which she listed as investment information dissemination, grant approvals, strengthening of the one stop investment centre,, intervention on OSIC problems, acquisition of investor relationship management system, Investment promotion club membership development, particularly among the students, facilitate projects to operational status and development of database of professional investment and service providers.
In her presentation, the Director Legal Services, Patience Okala spoke on “Reforms of Nigeria‘s BITs to attract ‘RIBS’ Investments.
According to her, phase one is to develop a new model BIT, phase two is to modernize existing stock of old generation treaties while the third phase is coherent legal framework at all levels. RIBS mean Responsible, Inclusive, Balanced and Sustainable.
“This can further be explained as compliance of investment with global standards on labour, human rights, social and corporate responsibility, inclusive approach that mobilises investments and create jobs, balanced investors rights with obligations and preserve the host state’s policy space and right to regulate and finally to promote sustainable development objectives that align with agenda 2030 of the United Nations.” She said
Patience listed highlights of Phase one of the Model BIT as refined asset-based definition of investment balance the asymmetry between rights and obligations of investors, introduce mediation and dispute resolution mechanism s amongst others.
According to her, phase two entails assessment of Nigeria’s bilateral investment treaties, while phase three entails coherent legal framework
She revealed that NIPC played a critical role in the development of Nigerian Investment Policy.
The Director, State Coordination, Ahmad Isah Ghondi while speaking at the media engagement said his department has the mandate to support states to become more effective promoters of domestic and foreign investments, a task which he said NIPC is doing well
“Through Investment Certification Programme for states, we improve the capacity of states to document, promote and facilitate private investments, we also produce Book of Sates to elevate investment prospects across Nigeria” He said
The Department of Strategic Services was not left out. The Director in charge of the department Abubarkar Yerima said his department was responsible for developing the strategic direction of the Commission in alignment with the National Development Plan, 2021-2025. One of the major activities in 2022 according to him is to build partnerships with select high profile private sector orgaanisations, as investment ambassadors.
He also revealed that this year, the Commission will be transiting its internal operations into Electronic Document Management System and also build relationships across sectors for synergy and coordination of investments promotion activities.
The Director Policy Advocacy, John Oseji who also spoke at the Media parley said the annual National Conference on Investment in the states will hold this year.
He gives an insight of the event: “NCIS brings together the relevant investment development and promotion institutions, agencies, organisations and even individuals from both the public and private sectors. The purpose is to discuss and mobilise broad-based support for and provide a roadmap towards creating an enabling investment environment to attract both domestic and foreign direct investment into the country”
Earlier in his remarks , the Chairman , Governing Council of NIPC, Rt. Hon. Dr.Babangida S.M Nguroje commended the management of NIPC for the media parley which he noted would not only showcase the good work the Commission is doing, but also project the image of the country which will in turn lead to direct foreign investment.